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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Foyt first to win four Indy's; Guthrie 29th
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

May 29, 1977

A.J. Foyt, the people's choice, wages a brilliant and grueling bumper-to-bumper battle with Gordon Johncock at the Indy 500. But under the pressure of Foyt's pursuit, Johncock's engine blows on the final turn of the 184th lap and the driver steers his car off the track and parks on the grass. As Foyt zips into the lead in his red Gilmore Coyote, Johncock waves to him.

Foyt eases up the pace and all but coasts to his fourth Indy 500 victory, the first driver to achieve this feat. He averages 161.331 mph, easily beating runner-up Tom Sneva.

"I talked to the car. I talked to the good Lord and everybody that would listen that I could win and nobody would get hurt today," says Foyt, the 42-year-old grandfather whose previous victories came in 1961, 1964 and 1967.

Finishing 29th in the field of 33 is Janet Gurthrie, the first woman driver in the Indy 500. She completes only 27 laps before her engine fails.

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