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Qualifying Report: Indianapolis 500 Round 2

INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2024) -- For the second straight year Santino Ferrucci and the AJ Foyt Racing Team qualified for the Firestone Fast 6 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Driving the No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet, Ferrucci started the day never making a full qualifying sim in the one hour practice which caused a little bit of consternation as the team tried to determine why he wasn't completely comfortable to make the four lap run.


The team made some adjustments before the Top 12 round of qualifying. The fifth car to take to the track in the Top 12 qualifying round, Ferrucci posted a four-lap average speed of 232.723mph which was the fastest of the five cars that had gone out for time. By the time the other seven cars had qualified, Ferrucci had transitioned into the Firestone Fast 6.


Race engineer James Schnabel shares a laugh with crew chief Didier Francesia as Santino and Larry watch the monitor after Santino's first run of the day.

"Man, we've been missing it a little bit all week and it's been frustrating to being this close to nailing something and then making a change and then backing away and getting close and backing away. But this Homes For Our Troops Chevy is on fire right now so we can carry this momentum into the Fast 6," said Ferrucci, who will celebrate his 26th birthday at the end of the month.


When the Fast 6 round started at 5:20 p.m. ET, Ferrucci was the first to make a run. He posted a 4-lap average speed of 232.692mph, which, considering he almost brushed the wall in Turn 2 on lap three, was impressive.

Santino walks back to the garage with his wife Renay after qualifying sixth for the Indy 500.

“Man, you know, we were kind of missing that little half mile an hour and it’s tough, it’s a tough field, a tough grid," Ferrucci said after his final run. "We’re just happy all six Chevy’s are in the front. The Homes For Our Troops car was really fast. I came out of One (Turn 1) on lap three, I got into the apex and it moved and I was like ‘I don’t know’ and then it moved again on the exit and I was scrambling to hit my tools before Two (Turn 2). I was still trying to gather up the car, but when I turned in, I was able to adjust it going down the backstretch and I was just hoping that my following lap into One (Turn 1) it was going to stick. It was one of the moments where you don’t lift, and hope and pray.”


Ferrucci will start on the outside of the second row.


"It's a great day for the team starting P6, we're definitely where we belong," said Ferrucci. "It's a great day for Chevrolet and for Homes For Our Troops and we're looking forward to going racing!"

Larry Foyt with technical director Michael Cannon after Ferrucci transferred to the Firestone Fast 6.


Team President Larry Foyt concurred saying, "I'm really proud of the whole team, it was a real team effort today. To get in the Fast 6 with the 14 car two years in a row is a huge accomplishment so it was a great job by the engineers, mechanics and Santino really drove the wheels off of it. We definitely think we can win the race from there so that's the goal. Really proud of Team Penske. They were on a different level here in qualifying. Fantastic job by that group. Now it's time to focus on the big one on winning this thing. I think we'll have two good cars to work on race trim in the last two practices and see what we can do next Sunday."

A.J. was smiling and happy with the team effort today.


Scott McLaughlin won the NTT P1 award with a blistering four-lap average speed of 234.220mph which set a new track record for a pole speed. His teammates Will Power (in second) and Josef Newgarden join McLaughlin in the front row for the first time since 1988 that Team Penske swept the front row. That year Rick Mears won the pole ahead of Danny Sullivan and Al Unser, Sr.


Rounding out the top five today were Alexander Rossi and Pato O'Ward.


Teams will have a two-hour practice tomorrow before installing their race engines in time for the final two-hour practice from 11am to 1pm on Carb Day, May 24. The 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast on NBC and streamed on Peacock starting at 11 am ET Sunday, May 26.

Santino signs an autograph for one of the many fans at the Speedway today.




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