IndyCar could have a big week of news at PRI Show

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There have been a handful of driver announcements, the schedule release and rules updates that have occurred this offseason for the Verizon IndyCar Series. But the greatest volume of news could well come this week at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis.

Several panel discussions, Q&As and announcements are expected at the IndyCar booth (#4057) there in Indy. A full list can be found here.

The announcements/insights of note:

Indy Lights engine badging announcement, Thursday, 2 p.m. ET

I’ll admit a bit of surprise when I saw this one pop up on the PRI website, because most indications since the new Dallara IL15 chassis was revealed this May along with engine partner AER was that AER would remain the badge.

This announcement could potentially change that, as Dan Andersen, head of Andersen Promotions, along with INDYCAR’s Brian Barnhart and an engine manufacturer rep TBD are listed to attend.

Just last week, the series announced a delay in its official test scheduled for December 16-17 at Palm Beach International Raceway to January, and cited a need for engine production to match the entry demand. These two announcements may not necessarily be related, but the timing of each release is certainly intriguing.

The Women of Racing panel, Friday, 11 a.m. ET

This will be a chance to hear from four women who have made an impact on the sport. Sarah Fisher, CFH Racing team owner, Pippa Mann, IndyCar driver, Anna Chatten, INDYCAR mechanic/pit crew member and Kate Gundlach, Chip Ganassi Racing Engineer, will be on the panel.

Project 100, Thursday, 4 p.m. ET

Much as the track centennial celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway spanned three years from 2009 to 2011, “Project 100” discussion will probably occur for a lot of 2015 and into 2016, when the 100th Indianapolis 500 will occur. An update from track president Doug Boles on the direction, progress, goals, of ‘Project 100’ and the impact it will have on the historic 2.5-mile race course will follow.

IndyCar Twitter chat with Will Phillips, series VP of technology, Saturday, TBD

Wrapped under the veil of secrecy, with both Chevrolet and Honda extremely tight-lipped over their aero kit developments, we could get some insights on what’s going on in IndyCar’s technical department in a Twitter Q&A with series’ vp of technology Will Phillips. A time is TBD; we figure IndyCar will tease it plenty once a time is determined.

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.