Alex Tagliani Hired to Drive No. 48 Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda
Third AJ Foyt Racing Entry to Honor Dan Gurney
INDIANAPOLIS May 5, 2015—Veteran IndyCar driver and 2011 Indianapolis 500 Pole Winner Alex Tagliani will drive the Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda-powered Dallara for AJ Foyt Racing as the storied race team prepares for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Al-Fe Heat Treating marks its fifth year with AJ Foyt Racing which began with an associate sponsorship in 2011.
Adding to the lore will be the tribute to Dan Gurney and his No. 48 Eagle Indy car, an idea which started with team owner A.J. Foyt, who co-drove with Gurney to win the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1967.
“My good friend Dan Gurney used to run that number and he’s supposed to be back at Indy this year so I thought it would be a great way to honor him. And he had some good runs with that number!” said Foyt.
Designed by Ryan Westman, regional sales manager for Al-Fe Heat Treating, Inc., and artist Jason LaFrenais, the No. 48’s matte black and bright white livery evokes the paint scheme of Gurney’s No. 48 Eagle that he drove to second place in both the ‘68 and ’69 Indy 500s.
Gurney, who plans to attend the 500 for the first time since the 2011 Centennial Anniversary, is looking forward to seeing the No. 48 on track and meeting up with Foyt, with whom he co-drove to victory in the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1967. As a team owner, Gurney won the 1975 Indy 500 with Bobby Unser driving the No. 48 Jorgensen Eagle.
“I am deeply touched by my old friend and team mate A.J. Supertex Foyt to be honored in this way and I will be rooting for Alex Tagliani in "48" with a big smile on my face,” Gurney said.
Al-Fe Heat Treating began its association with the team when they signed as an associate sponsor of the No. 14 and No. 41 cars for the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Since that the race, they expanded their program every year with this year seeing Al-Fe Heat Treating become the primary sponsor on an Indy 500 entry.
"This year’s Indy 500 marks Al-Fe Heat Treating's fifth year as an associate sponsor with A.J. Foyt Enterprises and what better way to celebrate that milestone than to sponsor Foyt's third entry into the 99th running of the greatest spectacle in racing: the number 48 Al-Fe Heat Treating Special,” said Kurt Westman, Founder and CEO of Alfe Heat Treating.
“One of the most memorable times of my childhood was to attend the Indy 500 time trials and the race with my family,” Westman revealed. “My brother and I would spend hours standing at the fence line along Gasoline Alley trying to catch a glimpse (and photograph) of the cars and drivers--A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney to name a few.
“It's almost impossible to explain the excitement and pride I feel in being able to be part of one of the most famous race teams in the world, and more so this year by sponsoring the A.J.’s No. 48 Al-Fe Heat Treating, Dan Gurney-tribute car driven by Alex Tagliani.
Westman, whose association with the Foyt team began in 2011 with the 100th Anniversary Indy 500, has expanded his company’s sponsorship from a single race to a season-long sponsorship of the two-car team.
“The Verizon IndyCar Series, and its great venues, presents our company a wonderful opportunity to develop business relationships, entertain customers and employees that share this common interest--and the Indy 500 is at the top of the list!” Westman said.