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Sooner or later, the best days and nights become chunks of time. Spend enough years around this sport and you find yourself no longer breaking things down by seasons, but by clusters of seasons. 
True story: Sunday, Feb. 11, 2001, Daytona Int’l Speedway. The Budweiser Shootout is over and the afternoon shadows have grown long. 
You didn’t make it to the Indy 500 this year, and neither did I. The small matter of a global pandemic saw to that. 
Our fable starts with the late Gilles Villeneuve, winds around a picturesque Grand Prix course in the Netherlands, takes flight over the Atlantic and settles on the black dirt of an Indiana bullring called Gas City Speedway.
With a little bit of luck — a rare commodity lately — by now you have heard the sound of roaring engines at a track close to you, and your racing season has begun. 
We had ourselves a silent spring, a weird season when you rarely knew how to feel, what to say, when to grin and when to grimace. 
He was straight from the old school, where the only lesson that counted was: “Don’t give up.” 
It was a dark autumn and a mournful winter, full of condolence cards and flower-delivery orders and suits to be dry cleaned and services to attend. 
Anthony Joseph Foyt turned 85 in January and the internet was awash in the Texamericana that comes with every Foyt milestone.
As always, the obituaries told you what the man did, but not enough about who he was.

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