Tuesday was supposed to be another tribute to his sterling past at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Sitting on the frontstretch with chairman Mari Hulman George and a golden brick to be placed at the start-finish line, A.J. Foyt smiled for the cameras in remember his first win in the Indianapolis 500 50 years ago this month.
For many people around the racing world, however, the thoughts of Foyt go not to his distant past but rather of the recent, after pulling a deal that has caused plenty of chatter.
It was a day removed from his deal with Andretti Autosport to put Ryan Hunter-Reay into A.J. Foyt Racing's number 41 machine. Out in the process was Bruno Junqueira, who was told late Monday that he would not be driving in the 500 mile race.
Foyt declined talk to the media who were gathered at the ceremony Tuesday afternoon, but the move has been the talk of twitter and racing racing fan forums early this week.
Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti released a series of statements through his team on Tuesday afternoon pertaining to the situation.
He says that the move was predicated on protecting sponsorships on Hunter-Reay's car, which was expected to be in the race when practice began.
On the anger of some fans over the move, Andretti says: "The fastest 33 cars are what qualify for the Indy 500 and that's always been the case. We're not doing anything that changes that. This has happened before. One of the greatest finishes in Indy 500 history, in 1992, involved a car that had a driver change before the race. Scott Goodyear replaced Mike Groff and Scott nearly won the race. It's not a new thing.
"I disagree with the idea that we are doing something to hurt the integrity of the Indy 500. We would never do that - ever. The rule is the fastest 33 cars make the race - not the 33 fastest drivers. And, that is what will be on track Sunday."
Hunter-Reay also has taken some of the blame for the situation and through the team expressed disappointment at how all went down.
"I understand their passion for the Indy 500 and I hope they understand that I am just the driver. And, my job is to drive when and where I'm told to drive. I don't determine things like this. The team needs me in the car this Sunday and I'm going to give it everything I've got," said Hunter-Reay of the fans. "Again, I feel terrible for Bruno. But, really, this is not about me and Bruno. This is about our teams and those who support our teams all season long."