Servia, Panther DRR tackles Pole Day at Indy (VIDEO)

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Four laps. Ten miles. Seems simple enough. But, of course, there’s no such thing as “simple” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s been said more than once that qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 is decidedly more nerve-wracking than the race itself. It’s an all-out quest for speed and precision that requires the highest levels of courage. If you have a bad start on Race Day, you can recover within the span of three hours or so. But Pole Day gives you no such luxuries.

Last Saturday, the NBC Sports Network tagged along with driver Oriol Servia and the No. 22 Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team as they carried out their attempt to snatch the “500” pole. It didn’t work out as well as they would’ve liked, but a 13th place start (four-lap average: 226.814 mph) can certainly be converted into a win.

There’s no telling what that result could do for the future of the team, which is set to bow out of this year’s championship after Sunday’s race due to a lack of sponsorship funds.

Watch Friday’s Indianapolis 500 Carb Day (11 a.m. ET) online and on your mobile device.

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.