Hunter-Reay leads Chevy-dominated St. Pete practice 1

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IndyCar’s new number one led the opening practice session of the 2013 season. Ryan Hunter-Reay led an Andretti Autosport 1-2, a best of 1:02.4534 around the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit, ahead of teammate James Hinchcliffe.

The top 22 of the 25 cars entered were within one second. Andretti’s other two drivers were also strong, with E.J. Viso in fourth and Marco Andretti in 10th.

Will Power was third and Tony Kanaan in fifth completed an all-Chevrolet top five.

The top Honda runner was Dario Franchitti in sixth, ahead of Simona de Silvestro (Chevrolet), Josef Newgarden (Honda), Sebastien Bourdais and Andretti (Chevrolet).

Only Graham Rahal, Ed Carpenter and Ana Beatriz were outside one second of Hunter-Reay in the opening practice session. Practice two goes green at 2:40 p.m. EST.

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

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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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.