A.J. Foyt really was trying to deflect the attention to his driver, Kenny Brack, who had just won the Indianapolis 500 Sunday afternoon.
So Foyt, the legendary driver who won the Indianapolis 500 four times behind the wheel, tried to direct questions toward the unassuming Brack, who became the first native of Sweden to win the signature event of open-wheel racing.
"It's all his day, not A.J.'s day. Y'all talk to him. He's the one who deserves it," said Foyt, who kept on talking. When the news conference mediator tried to direct a question toward Brack (pronounced BRECK), Foyt chimed in.
"Let me finish," Foyt said to a roomful of laughter, including several head-shaking chuckles from Brack.
This is what it is like when you drive for A.J. Foyt's PowerTeam Racing. People often are more interested in what your owner has to say, and most of the time, Foyt is more interested in letting himself talk.
They are the open-wheel version of the Odd Couple. Foyt, 64, is the loud, gum-smacking Texan who makes efficient use of the word "dadgum" and once slapped genteel Arie Luyendyk. Brack, 33, is soft-spoken, spending most of his time playing the guitar and participating in inline skating when he's not in a race car.
"It's interesting," said Brack, who led a race-high 66 laps. "But we get along well. We help each other. We are from totally different backgrounds, and he makes me laugh, but we've been a pretty good team."
But Brack had earned Foyt's respect before he won the Indianapolis 500. So much so that Brack uses number 14, the same number Foyt used to win a record 67 IndyCar races.
"I'm happy to be able to achieve this driving for A.J.," said Brack, who won the Indy Racing League points championship in 1998. "Driving the number 14 car, it is special, very special."
Brack drove on the Formula One circuit before coming to the United States. He drove his IRL rookie season for Rick Galles in 1997, but Foyt was admiring Brack from a distance. Foyt signed Brack to his team the following year and moved Brack to Houston, near Foyt's ranch. Brack did not disappoint, winning a record three consecutive races.
Brack made the Indy 500 field that year, but a pace lap accident eliminated him and two other drivers from the race. That's what made Sunday's victory so important to Foyt and Brack, even though Brack got a tremendous break when leader Robby Gordon ran out of gas heading into the final lap.
"I'm probably as happy as Kenny is," Foyt said. "Everybody kind of laughed when I brought a foreigner here. But I got his papers changed, and he had to move to Texas before I approved it.
"But we've really hit off, and got along real good."
There have been a few debates, however. Foyt has grown tired of Brack questioning the ability of his pit crew, and on Sunday Brack didn't believe Foyt was telling him the truth when Brack asked if his fuel level was enough to finish the race.
"Yeah, Kenny, you've got fuel! Go on!" Foyt said, with an undetermined number of "dadgums" following.
Brack had about five gallons left when the race was over, enough to complete a victory lap around storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After this, Brack probably will trust Foyt a little more.
"This does give me great appreciation of what A.J. did here," Brack said. "It's very hard to win a race like this, because you don't know what's going to happen. You have to have a lot knowledge, and A.J. has that."