More details on qualifying for IndyCar doubleheaders

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Qualifying for the second race of all IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheaders this season — which includes the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit (the next race on the schedule following this weekend’s Indianapolis 500), Honda Indy Toronto and Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston — will be split into two groups.

Cars will run in one of two groups for 12 minutes each — five of which will be guaranteed to be run under green flag conditions. This decision amends a previous rule that had a 30-minute qualifying session for all cars involved.

“Splitting qualifications for the second race will give a premium to the amount of track time available to each competitor,” said IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield in a series statement. “It will improve the ability for competitors to get a clean lap and post a true lap time.”

The qualifying groups will be formed via combined practice times from the day before, with Group 1 consisting of odd-numbered positions and Group 2 consisting of even-numbered positions. The grid will be determined by the best time ranking of the two groups combined, with the fastest qualifier on pole.

Qualifying for Race 1 of the doubleheaders will follow IndyCar’s standard three-round “knockout” format it uses on road and street circuits.

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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.