Santino Ferrucci to drive Foyt’s No. 14 flagship in IndyCar

Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time IndyCar racing next season in AJ Foyt’s flagship car after two seasons as a backup driver for other teams.

AJ Foyt Racing said Thursday that Ferrucci will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet, which is deployed from Foyt’s headquarters in Waller, Texas. Ferrucci recently moved to Texas.

Last week, the team signed Indy Lights driver Benjamin Pedersen for its second car, which is lined up in Indianapolis. Team president Larry Foyt didn’t give Pederson a car number because it’s still unclear if Dalton Kellett will return to drive the No. 4 next year.

Ferrucci has raced in eight IndyCar races over the past two seasons, including once as an emergency backup for Jack Harvey at Texas Motor Speedway when Harvey suffered a concussion in an accident during practice. He was also Team Penske’s reserve driver in July at Indianapolis in case Josef Newgarden was not cleared to compete.

“Being a part-time driver for the past two years has been difficult for me personally,” said Ferrucci, 24. “I’m a racing driver and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter what car I’ve raced in, I’ve always shown speed and consistency.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the Chevy 14. I can’t wait to make the most of it.”

Ferrucci last season drove for Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Juncos Hollinger Racing, with a best finish of ninth place at Texas. The previous year he had finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 while riding for Rahal.

He finished career fourth at the Indy 500 in 2020 when he drove for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.

Larry Foyt said he consulted with his father, the four-time Indy 500 winner, about adding Ferrucci and that AJ Foyt said he liked Ferrucci’s attitude.

“He’s shown a knack for heading to the front of the pack, and I think he’s a rider who gets ahead on race day,” Foyt said. “AJ sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their encounters together. I think Santino’s experience will also help his rookie teammate, so he’s a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci is originally from Connecticut and initially pursued a career in European racing. He moved overseas aged 14, competed in several junior classes and holds the record for the youngest winner in the British Formula 3 series at 16. Ferrucci also raced in Formula 2 and was a Haas F1 development driver in 2017 and 2018.

“IndyCar became my focus after leaving F1 in 2018,” Ferrucci said. “I immediately fell in love with the cars, the racing style and the people. That’s when I knew IndyCar had to be my new home.”

Ferrucci was the 2019 Rookie of the Year in his first full season behind the wheel of Coyne. He never finished outside the top 10 in four Indy 500 starts.

While seeking full-time employment, Ferrucci made nine starts in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series for Sam Hunt Racing. He finished a career-best 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his second career NASCAR race.

“I’ve driven everything from off-road cars, to production cars, to karts, to Indy cars and F1 cars, and driving Indy cars requires a very unique driving style,” Ferrucci said. “It’s definitely the type of car where discomfort is quick – and it’s very hard to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

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