A.J. Foyt must be a cat. Lord knows the guy’s had more stuff happen to him both inside and out of a race car over the years. He’s had bad crashes, even with a tractor at his ranch, and now has twice been attacked by Africanized Killer Bees. They failed a second time after attacking Super Tex at his ranch in West Texas on Wednesday.
Foyt was set to be enshrined in the Sebring International Raceway Hall of Fame on Friday night, right before the 56th annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, IMSA’s second race of the year. Foyt also intended to serve as Grand Marshal for the enduro; his last major victory as a driver came at the 1985 12-hour endurance race, as he co-drove with Bob Wollek in a car that is in the museum at the venerable airport circuit.
Foyt, who was treated at a local hospital and released once his system had stabilized said, “I’m very sorry I can’t be there, because I was really looking forward to this weekend. I was doing some work on my ranch out west and got attacked by killer bees. I look like I had a fight with Mike Tyson and lost.”
Foyt is expected to make a full recovery. “Right now I’m on so much medication that I’m not feeling that great, so I’ll take doctors’ advice to rest for the next couple of days,” he explained.
As stated above, this is the second time A.J. Foyt, 83, has been attacked by killer bees. He sustained more than 200 stings – in his head alone – in the first attack in August of 2005. Both times, Foyt was working on his bulldozer when he disturbed the beehives. This particular attack was more severe and dangerous; because of the first encounter he’s been sensitized to bee stings.
Foyt is seriously considering declining any future offers to be a grand marshal at a race. In 2012, he was scheduled to be grand marshal for the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona 24-hour race, but came down with a life-threatening staph infection just days before the event took place. The legend spent several weeks in hospital recovering from that ordeal.