Indy Lights complete two-day test at Sebring

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Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport appears to be setting the bar early for the Firestone Indy Lights contingent.

The Colombian racer, who enters his second season in Lights and will also attempt to get a fifth Andretti Autosport machine into the Indianapolis 500, had a great two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway this week. On Thursday, he threw down the fastest lap of the day with a time of 56.1486 seconds, and on Friday, he topped the afternoon session with a lap of 55.821 seconds.

“I don’t see myself as the guy to beat at St. Pete or for the championship,” Munoz told IndyCar.com. “I just want to do my work as best as I can – my work with my engineer, my physical preparation and my mental preparation. If I do that well, the results will come.”

Munoz finished fifth in the Lights standings last season, with victories at Edmonton and in the season-finale at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.).

The Lights paddock will now head to Barber Motorsports Park for one more test session on Monday before making final preparations for their March 23 season opener in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on March 24 at 11 a.m. ET before the IZOD IndyCar Series hits the airwaves at Noon ET with live coverage of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.