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Race Report: XPEL Grand Prix at Road America



 ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 9, 2024) -- Coming back from adversity. The AJ Foyt Racing team had several setbacks in the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America but Santino Ferrucci and Sting Ray Robb fought back.

 

Ferrucci evaded a first lap multi-car crash amongst the leaders by going through the grass while Robb gained nine spots once the cars sorted out. However that advantage was short-lived as several laps later, he made contact with Felix Rosenqvist which resulted in a penalty dropping him from 17th back to 24th.

 

Ferrucci managed to work his way to 13th before the first round of pit stops on lap 16. With cars working different fuel strategies because of the early yellow, he emerged in 17th but was in 12th after the pit stop cycles finished.

 


The second stop proved problematic as the car stalled during the stop and Ferrucci dipped back to 23rd. But his Sexton Properties Chevy was quick and with a flawless third stop, he managed to claw his way back to 15th.


Santino talks with Larry Foyt (center) and race engineer James Schnabel.


“Honestly really solid day, just unfortunate with the start of the race. Smokescreen…the last thing I saw was Herta was sideways and I didn’t want to go straight through and potentially hit him and kill both of our cars, so avoided by going through the grass," Ferrucci explained. "We came back, had a killer strategy with the Sexton Properties Chevrolet. On the second to last stop the car wouldn’t go into neutral for some reason, so we’re going to investigate why that is because I pressed the button and nothing happened. I think that killed our top ten run but we still managed to finish fifteenth, so happy with that.”

 

Following the drive-through penalty, Robb rebounded with a flawless drive and smooth pit stops to finish 17th, his second-best finish of the year in the No. 41 Goodheart.vet/Pray.com Chevrolet.

 


“Another crazy IndyCar race," said Robb afterwards. "The start was exciting. We moved up a lot of spots on lap one which was really good. I got into it with Rosenquist there towards the beginning of the race and rightfully deserved a penalty so we went back behind him a few spots. I don't want to race like that; I want to race clean with these guys but we were pushing hard which is just normal racing here in Indy car.


"I’m really proud of the team," Robb continued. "We had good pace today. We went forward a lot and having the Goodheart crew here this weekend was really fun as well. I'm hoping that the next few races we will keep building momentum. But from here, I think that we're doing pretty good.”


Sting Ray debriefs with race engineer Mike Armbrester (far right) as driver coach Jonny Baker listens (center).

 

Will Power topped his teammates on the podium as he posted his first victory since 2022 and 42nd of his career. Power also moved into the point lead of the NTT INDYCAR Series. Joining him on the podium were runner-up Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin. Rounding out the top five were Alex Palou and Kyle Kirkwood.

 

Teams will be testing the hybrid engine at the Milwaukee Mile this week before heading to Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey which will be broadcast Sunday, June 23 on the USA Network starting at 6 p.m. ET.


 

 

 

 

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