Big Race - Indy

Racing rivalries spill over into wine-making

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) -- Thirty-three drivers will hit the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for a chance to win the Indy 500. It's a competitive field filled with deep-rooted rivalries that sometimes spill over into life off the track. 

It's not something you would expect with IndyCar, but wine-making has become a big part of racing culture. There's even a wine bar right in downtown Speedway, less than a mile from the track, owned by one of racing's best-known families. 

"I guess it's just something that we can relax and enjoy after our high-speed ventures on track," Larry Foyt said.

Cousins Larry Foyt & A.J. Foyt IV said they couldn't imagine another home for Foyt Wine Vault. 

"People would come in here and not really understand the total race theme, but being right here on Main Street, right by the race track, it's a perfect location for us," A.J. said. 

"When you walk in, it's just got a cool ambiance, nice lighting, but then you see A.J.'s Copenhagen car, the last car he raced here in Indianapolis, which is really cool to be sitting there," Larry said. 

The wine bar opened in 2015 and doubles as a museum for the Foyt family, so it's no secret the vault is owned by the same Foyts known to racing.

Larry and A.J. say using the family name came with one condition: "Only if it tastes better than Andretti's. So we definitely feel like we're winning there," Larry said. 

Mario Andretti opened Andretti Winery in California 20 years ago, while another former driver, Jimmy Vasser, owns V12 Vineyards. 

But it's Foyt Wine that's served just steps from the track. 

"It's been a lot of fun comparing our wines to Andretti's and Jimmy Vasser's, I mean it's cool. We compare each other on the race track, we race against each other, so it's kinda cool to compete with them on off-track stuff as well," A.J. said. 

If wine isn't your thing, there are plenty of other beverages served up at IMS on race day. It's estimated vendors sell about 4,000 gallons of beer during the Indy 500. That doesn't include what is brought in by patrons. There are also nearly 30 bars dedicated to selling margaritas and Bloody Marys.


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