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Notes & Quotes: Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix


Santino Ferrucci and Sting Ray Robb both earned kudos for their performances in the Indianapolis 500. Ferrucci finished eighth in the No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet to continue his record-setting streak of top-10 finishes in the 500. Robb led four times for a total of 23 laps (third highest total) in the No. 41 Goodheart.vet/Pray.com Chevrolet and finished 16th. Leading into the 500's polar opposite (in terms of the track and the race) with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, we asked them a few questions...

 

SANTINO FERRUCCI: No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet


Having raced on Detroit's new street circuit last year, what do you like most about the actual track?

SF: "I would say the pit lane, definitely unique. Obviously, most pits are quite technical and challenging as is this one, but I will say that it is very fun to have the dual pit lane. I think it kind of changes your strategy. We want to definitely be on the left side of pit lane this year compared to last year. I think it's fun to be racing your competitors in pit lane as well under yellow. Overall, I like Detroit because it's a very pretty track, very scenic."

 

Where are the best places to pass?

SF: "I would say the two best places to pass are down Jefferson Avenue into turn three and into turn eight, coming down towards pit lane down by the water."

 

With the improvement on the road course car's handling in Barber, do you think that will translate to the street course setup for Detroit or are they too different to compare?

SF: "They're too different to compare but I would say that we were good at St. Pete as well. And that might have some potential for Detroit. But considering we struggled so much here last year, we're really going to be relying on the Penske alliance to help get us up to speed.



Is it hard to go from a superspeedway to an "elbows-out" street course like Detroit the following week?

SF: "Yes and no. I think it's difficult in the aspect that you need to remember that when you're racing on an oval, you can't be touching competitors. And as close as the racing is, you're not super, super close. Versus Detroit. It's not a very quick track with the exception of the straight, so you do need to be a little bit more aggressive and it does take a bit of an adjustment."

 

As a driver, do you enjoy having the back-to-back races after the Indy 500 like Detroit and then Road America?

SF: "I personally do not because I have to drive home from Indy with my family and my dogs, change bags overnight, don't get a full night's sleep. And then try to get some housekeeping items done and I'm immediately on a plane to Detroit. So, there's really no time to take a breather. I celebrate my birthday [May 31] in Detroit, so I guess that's a positive."

 

Having a superspeedway street course and road course on successive weekends speaks to the versatility of the drivers. What are the challenges for a driver that such a diverse schedule presents?

SF: "I think that you need to be able to be well-rested mentally. Everything is very different. The car setups are very different. The tuning tools are very different. And it's a lot on your mind to be thinking about all these things. If you can separate them easily, you'll do better. And you've got to remember that keeping notes is important. I do a lot of that. Keeping notes on the different tracks for changes, so you can change your mindset faster."

 

Ferrucci Fast Facts: Age 26 (as of May 31, 2024)...Born in Woodbury, CT...Lives in Dallas, Texas...Married Renay Moore in January, 2024...Began racing karts at age 5, moved to cars in 2013...Competed in Formula 2000, British Formula 3, GP3 finishing third at Spa Francorchamps as a rookie, was development driver for Haas F1 team for three years (2016-2018), moved to Formula 2 in 2018...made his INDYCAR debut in Detroit in 2018...moved to NTT INDYCAR Series fulltime in 2019 finishing 13th in standings for Dale Coyne and won Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after finishing seventh...13th in standings again with fourth place finish in the 500...drove part-time in 2021-22 but maintained top-10 streak in Indy 500 with finishes of sixth (RLL Racing) and 10th (Dreyer Reinbold Racing)...Scored career-best finish to date with his 3rd place finish in the 2023 Indianapolis 500 to continue his string of consecutive top-10 finishes in the 500...Competed part-time in NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021-22.

 

 

STING RAY ROBB: No. 41 Goodheart.vet/Pray.com Chevrolet


Having led the Indianapolis 500 four times for 23 laps, what does that experience do for the team’s momentum going forward?

SRR: "I said this even at the beginning of the year, that May can be a big momentum shift for anyone, and I was betting on that for us. We showed what this team is capable of doing and with slightly different strategy at the end of the race, we would've been fighting for the top spots. I see the morale boost on the team, and it is so good." 

 

What were you thinking when you took the lead in the Indy 500? 

 SRR: "We were promoted to the front of the field (the first time) via staying out on the race track when everyone jumped to pit lane during a caution. That was a big surprise. When I was sitting there and the only car in front of me was the pace car, I had a slight moment of excitement. Definitely not what we had expected to happen at that point in the race."

 

Having raced on Detroit’s new street circuit last year, what do you like most about the actual track? Where are the best places to pass?

SRR: "Personally, I loved Belle Isle. To see that leave the schedule was sad. However, I was surprised to see how good the racing actually was at the new circuit. There are a lot of straights to hard 90-degree corners which means big brake zones, so a lot of passing opportunities. I'm looking forward to rolling off this year with more experience for this event."

 

Is it hard to go from a superspeedway where it’s all about smoothness whether it’s the track or driving style to a demanding and sometimes bumpy street course like Detroit the following week?

SRR: "It is difficult, but that's why I love Indy car racing. A driver in this series has to be adaptable. Now, having the two most contrasting races on back-to-back weekends is one of the hardest things to do." 


 As a driver, do you enjoy having back-to-back races after the Indy 500?

SRR: "I don't mind the busy schedule so much, especially after a long off-season. The upcoming events are some of my favorites. The work load over the last month was a lot and to continue that for the next few weeks is difficult, especially for the team, as they transition cars from oval to street circuit and then to road course setups.

 

Having a superspeedway, street course and road course on successive weekends, speaks to the versatility of the drivers.  What are the challenges for a driver that such a diverse schedule presents? 

SRR: "When an event is so different weekend to weekend, it means that the cars are also very different. The changing tire compounds with a completely different setup gives the car a unique feel that may not translate from one event to the other. The way the car oversteers and understeers on the oval feels very different than when on the streets of Detroit. We are all fighting the same transition but the driver with the best toolbox of experience usually finds the best car and best driving style the quickest."

 

Sting Ray Fast Facts: Age 22...Grew up in Payette, ID....Lives in Indianapolis...Engaged to Molly Mitchell...Began racing karts at age 5 winning several national titles over the next 10 years. His transition to cars began at the Skip Barber Karts to Cars Shootout where he won the Bryan Herta Scholarship which put him on the Road to Indy and into the NTT INDYCAR Series at age 21. In his rookie season, he scored a career best finish of 12th in the season finale in Monterey, Calif. A devout Christian, Robb will be active as a spokesman for his sponsor Pray.com this season. Off track, Robb enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing, rock-climbing, golf, tennis, pickleball and basketball.

 

Past Performance: Ferrucci's best start is 12th in Race 2 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) in 2021 and his best finish is sixth in Race 1 in 2021, also with RLL. Robb's only race on this track was in his rookie year in 2023, he started 26th and finished 22nd. The Foyt Team's best start is from the pole in Race 2 in 2014 with Takuma Sato; Sato also scored the team’s best finish of second in Race 2 in 2015.

 

The USA Network will broadcast the race live on Sunday, June 2nd starting at 12:00 p.m. ET. All practice sessions, qualifying rounds and the race will stream live on Peacock. The race and all practice and qualifying sessions will air live on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation 160 and SiriusXM NBC Sports Audio 85 (Race only) and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

On Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500 winners were awarded their "Blue Jackets" in the spirit of the Masters' Green Jackets. Top Row (L to R): Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Buddy Rice, Bobby Rahal, Rick Mears, Helio Castroneves, A.J. Foyt, Josef Newgarden, Buddy Rice, Kenny Brack, Sam Hornish, Jr., Ryan Hunter-Reay, Roger Penske. Seated (L to R): Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, Al Unser, Jr., Arie Luyendyk, Jr., Dario Franchitti, Johnny Rutherford, Emerson Fittipaldi, Takuma Sato, Mario Andretti, Tony Kanaan.

  


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