The A.J. Foyt Championship is a season-long points battle featuring three disciplines of open-wheel racing: USAC Silver Crown, Sprint Cars, and Champion Midgets. Named after A.J. Foyt, who triumphed in the first oval event at the facility in May of 1961, this championship recognizes title-winners dating back to the birth of oval racing at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Former winners of the A.J. Foyt Championship include historic names such as Jeff Gordon, Parnelli Jones, Ryan Newman, Roger McCluskey, Rich Vogler, Ken Schrader, Dave Steele, Merle Bettenhausen, Mel Kenyon, and Kenny Irwin Jr. In recent years, the Championship has been dominated by the likes of Kody and Tanner Swanson, Bobby Santos, Tracy Hines, and Kyle Hamilton. You can view the full list of former winners here.
This Championship format puts an emphasis on race wins, feature participation, and furthermore, gives an advantage to drivers who can excel in multiple classes of open-wheel racing to showcase their diverse skillset. Drivers who accomplish the following will have the best success in the Championship Chase:
- Feature Finishes: Eligibility to earn points is determined off of their feature race finishing results in USAC Silver Crown, Sprint Cars, or Champion Midgets
- Wins: Winners of feature races in the aforementioned categories will receive five (5) bonus points for each A.J. Foyt Championship-eligible race
- Finishing Position: Finishing as high as possible in the running order determines points gained an A.J. Foyt Championship race
- Participation: The more events a driver participates in – across USAC Silver Crown, Sprint Car, and Champion Midgets – the more opportunities to accumulate points.
As an example, here is how the 2020 Championship points battle shook out between our top three finishers – Bobby Santos, Kody Swanson and Kyle Hamilton. Santos was able to get an edge on Swanson with a 29-point haul in the Night Before the 500 champion midget race, showing his versatility. Hamilton was strong throughout the season, but did not score points in the June 20 sprint car event.
|6/20/20 – S||7/3/20 – S||8/21/20 – SC||8/22/20 – M||8/22/20 – S||Total|
Point values for each race are determined by how many drivers start a feature – i.e., the winner of a 21-race feature will receive 21 points, plus five bonus points for winning. Second place would receive 20 points, third place 19, and so on. Ties in the Championship standings at the end of the season will be broken first by number of wins in that season, followed by average starting position for the season, if necessary.
Season-winners of the A.J. Foyt Championship will have their names etched into the A.J. Foyt Championship Trophy – the beautiful silver-clad icon of history which represents this competition – plus an invitation to the exclusive champions-only dinner to be held in the fall.
The latest edition of the A.J. Foyt Championship will be contested across four events at Lucas Oil Raceway in 2022:
OPEN-WHEEL OPENING DAY
Saturday, March 26
Featuring the National Pavement Midget Championship and the 500 Sprint Car Tour, Open-Wheel Opening Day kicks off the 2022 oval season at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
CARB NIGHT CLASSIC
Friday, May 27
A Memorial Day weekend staple, the Carb Night Classic returns on May 27 with Foyt Championship races in USAC Silver Crown and the National Pavement Midget Championship.
THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER HOMECOMING
Thursday, June 30
Back by popular demand, Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming builds on a successful revival in 2021 to feature the 500 Sprint Car Tour, National Pavement Midget Championship, and an exclusive USAC Silver Crown Shootout race.
Saturday, October 22
In October, Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park becomes the place to crown champions – the season concludes with finales in the USAC Silver Crown National Championship, 500 Sprint Car Tour, and the National Pavement Midget Championship. Here we will also award the 2022 A.J. Foyt Championship.