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Race Report: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 7, 2024)-- "A solid day for us here at AJ Foyt Racing!" said Santino Ferrucci after both he and teammate Sting Ray Robb turned in stellar drives in hot conditions in the 80-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio which was never slowed by a full-course caution once the race went green on lap three.


Scott Dixon had issues on the parade lap and couldn't re-start his car so the start was waved off but the next two laps run under caution were counted. The primarily green flag race put a premium on pit stops and pit strategy and both teams were spot-on in the ninth race of the NTT INDYCAR Series.

Both Ferrucci and Robb started deep in the 27-car field.

Ferrucci, who started 21st in the 27-car field, finished 10th in the Sexton Properties Chevrolet and earned the "Biggest Mover" award for gaining the most positions. It is the sixth top-10 in nine starts for the No. 14 team. Following a two-stop fuel strategy, having pace and quick pit stops along with Ferrucci saving fuel all worked to the team's advantage.

"Honestly, the boys did a phenomenal job in pit lane, and I could not have done it without them doing that," the Connecticut native explained. "We had the right strategy and great pit stops so all I did was drive the car. We had a great setup on the Sexton Properties Chevrolet and had pace and we were able to move it forward. Sting Ray had a solid race too so it's all good stuff."


Both drivers had to fight tough driving conditions between the high temperatures and the added grip from repaving the 2.25-mile circuit which put a strain on them physically. Ferrucci developed a cramp in his arm in the last stint and Robb admitted to being tired once he climbed out of the cockpit.


Robb started 25th and finished 16th in the Chevrolet tying his best career finish of 16th which he earned in this year's Indianapolis 500. He too enjoyed solid pit stops and strategy by his engineers.


"Really happy with the result today," said Robb. "I think that, considering where we started the weekend, that was really good. The team, honestly, it was all up to them. I didn't pass hardly any cars on track. It was all in the pit cycle. So [we had] good in-and-out laps, good pit stops, great strategy. That's how we moved the Goodheart/ Chevrolet forward today."

Race engineer Mike Armbrester (left), Sting Ray and Collin Hendershot (performance engineer) "debrief" after the race.

"Super proud of Santino as well," Robb continued. "P 10 -- another top-10 result for him is really good. I pretty much just watched him the whole race. Tried to hook a tow rope up to the back of his car and let him pull me along. But I think that with a few more little changes here and there, we could be in the top 10 alongside him. So hopefully that's coming soon."


Team President Larry Foyt was beaming afterwards, saying, "I'm really proud of the team today, it was a whole team effort to get another top-10 with Santino and for Sting Ray to tie his best finish of the season was terrific--especially from where we started in the race. It was just a struggle for us this weekend to find the pace and what these cars wanted here at Mid-Ohio. But no one gave up, we just kept our heads down, and the crews did a fantastic job in the pits and we picked the right strategy. We maximized the points we could get today and averted what could have been a bad weekend and turned it into a positive one. We have some tracks coming up that we're looking forward to going to so we'll enjoy this momentum and try to keep it going!" 

Pato O'Ward snared the lead from pole winner Alex Palou during the final round of pit stops. Palou who had led a race-high 53 laps, pitted a lap later than O'Ward, who streaked past Palou when he emerged from the pits on cold tires. Palou pressured O'Ward for the final 24 laps but could not make the pass.


Scott McLaughlin, Colton Herta, and Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top five.


The teams will travel to Iowa next weekend for a doubleheader sponsored by Hy-Vee. Both 250-lap races around the high-banked, seven-eighths mile oval will be aired on NBC and streamed on Peacock. Saturday night's broadcast starts at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday's race kicks off at 12 noon ET which will put the teams' and drivers' stamina and strength to the test with the short recovery time between the two events.




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