Ferrucci on superb P3 at the Indy 500: “Very happy with what we’ve done and accomplished”

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It was an outstanding Indy 500 campaign for Santino Ferrucci. The 24-year-old American was rapid all month. He qualified a stunning P4 and backed it up yesterday as he finished 3rd, narrowly missing out on victory to Josef Newgarden.

Ferrucci was strong all through the race, running in the top 6 consistently and clearly having the pace to fight for the win.

Ultimately it didn’t quite fall his way, but it was a wonderful month for AJ Foyt Racing as they secured a podium finish. It’s the team’s first rostrum visit since Tony Kanaan finished P3 at Gateway back in 2019.

The driver of car number 14 admitted he was emotional about the whole occasion.

“Yeah, just emotional, bittersweet. It was emotional getting in the car, which was kind of strange because you feel like there’s a lot of people that really want this, the team really wants this.

“We worked so hard to be where we were. We ran out front all day long. It’s definitely one of the more difficult races that I’ve probably ever run, and just we also knew that we had a really good car.”

For Ferrucci, it was almost pretty much plain sailing. However, there was one hairy moment as he narrowly avoided Felix Rosenqvist who crashed with 17 laps to go.

“We got really close with Felix when he was wrecking so very thankful we were able to avoid that.”

Ferrucci led 11 laps yesterday and looked set to take the lead on the penultimate restart with 4 laps to go, but a crash involving Lundgaard, Andretti and Carpenter meant that didn’t happen as the caution came out just before he got ahead of Newgarden and Ericsson.

He explained the bittersweet feeling that moment gave him.

“And then yeah, coming to the end, I think on the second to final restart, me and Marcus battling it into 1, and obviously it going red when it did, it’s part of this place, it’s part of racing, it’s part of the speedway.

“Just bummed because I think — I’m sure Marcus thinks the same thing I do. We definitely, all three of us could have won it at any point in time. Yeah, it’s bittersweet.

“When you finish third, knowing that you led into 1 with three or four to go, it’s tough. But at the end of the day, I’m really happy with the way that things played out.

“This place does pick you as a winner. It’s very true. But I just really wanted to win this race like everybody else.

“We’ll come back next year probably a little stronger.”

Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | Paul Hurley

Ferrucci’s record at the 500 is extremely impressive. In his five starts he’s finished P7, P4, P6, P10 and P3.

He’s fully confident that one day he’ll be the winner of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“It’s my fifth top 10 in five starts — second top 5. I’ll win this thing one day. I’m sure of that. But right now I’ll be very happy with what we’ve done and accomplished.”

The last couple of months have been full of emotion for the AJ Foyt Racing team. The racing legend lost his wife Lucy in early April after almost 68 years of marriage.

Ferrucci explained other things that made him teary eyed as a friend of his is also sadly very unwell.

“Normally for this race there’s a bit of nervousness and you’re just kind of like amped up, ready to go. I was almost like in tears getting into the car because I think this race meant so much to so many of us today, specifically obviously with the passing of AJ’s wife and Larry’s mom, with Marie and Ann’s father, husband.

“Obviously my friend back home Kristi is really sick, who watched everything. It’s been a very emotional month people-wise for us.

“We’ve been so good this entire month that you get to race day and it’s actually a relief because you know you’ve been up front, you know you’ve qualified well, and it was honestly — I had so much fun driving the car today just because I know that — I’m sure the 14 got its fair amount of TV time.

“I’m sure Homes For Troops, which is a fantastic cause, we had so many vets here, we had so many people that have served and currently are serving in our pit box.

“We raised an exuberant amount of money for everybody and we get to build so many houses just based off what we were able to accomplish this month. Definitely you get emotional, and plus I have a lot of friends and family here.”

Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | Karl Zemlin