A few other tidbits from Friday in Detroit

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Here’s a few other noteworthy morsels from Friday here in Detroit, for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Chevrolet Indy Dual at Detroit:

Sebastien Bourdais will make his 100th start in open-wheel racing on Saturday. He has 31 wins, 31 poles and four consecutive Champ Car titles (2004-’07) in his career, although he has yet to score a podium finish since his return to IndyCar in 2011.

“It doesn’t make you any younger, does it?” the Dragon Racing driver pondered. “But obviously I am just very fortunate to be around and try to get to run a lot. I still enjoy it as much as I used to enjoy it.”

Ryan Briscoe didn’t have the smoothest of first days for Panther Racing in Detroit. The Australian will start 21st for the first race of the weekend, and his day included a spin. Although the chance to drive was unexpected, Briscoe was at least prepared, even though he’s running a seat made last-minute and Townsend Bell’s steering wheel.

“I wasn’t preparing for it at all, but I did just spend the whole last month in an IndyCar and I feel like I am comfortable in the cockpit again,” he said.

Quicken Loans-sponsored driver AJ Allmendinger nearly advanced out of group one in Q1, a tenth off Dario Franchitti in sixth, but will start 13th. It was a good effort for Allmendinger, who hasn’t been in a wet session since 2006 in Champ Car.

KV Racing Technology came down to Earth with a resounding thud in qualifying on Friday after its win in the Indianapolis 500 with Tony Kanaan. Simona de Silvestro qualified 18th, Kanaan 20th, and will each advance one spot thanks to a 10-spot grid penalty applied to Graham Rahal.

IndyCar isn’t the only series racing in Detroit this weekend. Polesitters in GRAND-AM’s Rolex Series include Jordan Taylor (No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP), Max Papis (No. 61 R. Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari F458) and Tom Long (No. 70 SpeedSource MAZDA6), and in the Pirelli World Challenge are Johnny O’Connell (No. 3 Cadillac Racing) and Mark Wilkins (No. 38 Kia Motors America Kia Optima).

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.