Top 10s get spread through IndyCar’s first three races

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The top 10s are getting spread around most of the IZOD IndyCar Series field in the first three races of the year.

Through three races, only five of the 25 drivers who have entered each IndyCar race have yet to score a top 10. Those are: Dragon Racing teammates Sebastian Saavedra and Sebastien Bourdais, Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s James Jakes, Dale Coyne’s Ana Beatriz and Ed Carpenter of his own team. And it’s not like they’ve run poorly – each of the five has had a semi-respectable race in the first three, but has yet to crack the top 10.

Meanwhile there’s been 10 drivers (Bourdais, Jakes, Beatriz, Carpenter, JR Hildebrand, Oriol Servia, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and Alex Tagliani, pictured right with Rahal) yet to crack the top 10 on the grid. Mere hundredths of seconds have cost them thus far and it wouldn’t surprise to see that number of those outside the mark shrink in the next race.

With the diversity of top 10 finishers, it’s unsurprising that only three drivers – Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson – have scored a top 10 in all three races. The latter two are surprises in that department; Andretti had three all of 2012 and Wilson’s Coyne team has made some mistakes that have set him back. But both drivers had stellar runs from penalized grid positions in Long Beach on Sunday.

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.