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The Indianapolis 500 may be more than a week away, but A.J. Foyt already has another Borg-Warner Trophy for his trophy case.
The legendary driver—the first driver to win four Indianapolis 500s (plus won another as a team owner in 1999), plus is the winningest driver in IndyCar history (67 race wins)—was presented a special “Baby Borg” during a celebration of his life and career Wednesday night in Indianapolis.
The Borg-Warner Trophy has become one of the most iconic trophies not only in motorsports, but in all athletic pursuits. It was first given to the Indianapolis 500 winner in 1936 and has continued the tradition with each subsequent Indy 500 since then. Foyt won the Indy 500 in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977.
The unique trophy features a trapezoidal marble base, with each side having a silver plate that represents one of his four wins as a driver in the 500, complete with his name, the year of the win and average winning speed. The plates were hand engraved by Reid Smith, who engraves the same information on the actual full-sized Borg-Warner Trophy.”
The 87-year-old Foyt is still spry and was in good spirits and humbled in receiving the special honor.
"The other night meant an awful lot to me," said Foyt. "Getting that beautiful trophy, which is the only one there is with my four victories on it, makes it very special to me. It will go with my original trophies and I just really appreciate everyone who made it happen—especially Michelle (Collins) and (Steve) Shunck."
Collins is global director of marketing/public relations for BorgWarner while Shunck is the longtime PR representative for the Borg-Warner Trophy and the Baby Borgs.
"We are honored to share the night with A.J., and his friends and family to present him with his very own, one-of-a-kind, Baby Borg trophy," Collins said. "We'd like to honor him in a special way for his four Indianapolis 500 wins on this his 64th anniversary at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“A.J. means so much to so many race fans around the world and especially here in Indianapolis. He is the founding member of the four-timers club and has his name in the record book for so many accomplishments at the Brickyard. It was a wonderful evening few will forget and all were very proud to be a part of—this one's for you A.J."
Follow Autoweek contributor Jerry Bonkowski on Twitter @JerryBonkowski