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Race Report: Children's of Alabama Indy Grand Prix

 LEEDS, Ala. (April 28, 2024) -- Since joining AJ Foyt Racing, Santino Ferrucci drove one of his best races to date on a permanent road course in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet this afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park.


Starting 17th, he pitted early on lap 7 during the first of four full course cautions in only what can be described as an "elbows out" race with multiple drivers being cited penalties for avoidable contact incidents. He moved into the top spot on lap 31 and posted his fastest lap of the race on lap 34 before pitting for a second set of reds.


He claimed the lead a second time when another full course caution - this time for his teammate whose steering wheel broke sending him into the Turn 1 barrier - saw multiple cars duck into the pits. He led for 10 laps on the 2.38-mile road course before making his final pit stop on lap 66.

 Through a combination of pit strategy, assertive driving and solid pit stops, Ferrucci finished seventh, and had the race stayed green in the final half of the 90-lap event, Ferrucci was on pace to claim his first top-five of the season.


"Solid day for us at AJ Foyt Racing," said Ferrucci. "Man, we had a fast Sexton Properties Chevy. Got all the way up to the lead, the strategy was phenomenal. It feels really good to come off of Long Beach where we had kind of missed everything a little bit on the strat side and then nail it today. If it weren't for the late race caution at the end, we would've had a nice top five. That's racing for us, and we're looking forward to going into the GP with this momentum."

Sting Ray Robb had been running a steady race in the No. 41 Chevrolet, climbing to 18th from 25th. However, prior to his accident, he had radioed in that the car felt weird and the team looked at tire pressures to see if he had a tire going down which he didn't. 

Several laps later, he went careening off course in Turn 1 hitting the tire barriers. He climbed from the car and was cleared at the INDYCAR's state of the art mobile medical unit.


“I’m all good," the young Idahoan assured. "I think the steering wheel just kind of came off in my hands in Turn 1 as I hit the wall. I hit the marshmallows, and it did do a very good job of slowing me down a little bit, but it was a weird, weird thing. It just went sideways, and I was holding onto the wheel and the wheel didn’t do anything. After I was getting ready to jump out of the car, I could see it was just the wires holding the wheel on so the hub was still attached, but the steering wheel itself wasn’t attached to the hub.

"I don’t know if that was contact from earlier that caused that, but it’s been a rough weekend," he continued. "I feel bad for the Chevy team, and we’re going to regroup, come back, and hopefully the Indy road course is a lot better. I like the team around me, so I have good faith in them.” 

Team President Larry Foyt summed up, "A great day and a tough day for the team. Santino drove a great race and the crew nailed their stops giving us a chance for a podium, maybe better. You never know how the yellows will fall and it cost us a little today. It’s tough and I feel for Sting Ray. He was driving a solid race when he had an issue. The team will do a deep dive and make sure we find the root of the issue."


Scott McLaughlin swept the card after winning the pole yesterday for Team Penske. His teammate Will Power finished second. Rounding out the top six were Linus Lundqvist, Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Palou and Christian Lundgaard.


The next race will be the Sonsio Grand Prix on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 11th. It will be televised by NBC starting at 3 p.m. ET.




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