Conor Daly gets a long-awaited IndyCar test with Schmidt Peterson

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There is some good news to report on an otherwise cloudy day for IndyCar in the wake of its Brasilia race cancellation announced earlier Thursday, in the form of American Conor Daly getting his first test in a Dallara DW12 in almost two full years next week.

Daly, who tested for and later raced for A.J. Foyt Enterprises in 2013, will step into the second Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda alongside friend James Hinchcliffe, the team’s first confirmed driver for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“This is the chance I’ve been working toward for a long time,” Daly told MotorSportsTalk. “I know Sam has always had a strong team and I hope to show them what I’ve learned over the last four seasons in Europe. It will be very helpful working with an experienced teammate and friend, James. I can’t wait to get on track again.”

Since Daly’s Sebring test and Indianapolis 500 debut in 2013, he has spent time in several different open-wheel championships. He spent the majority of the 2014 season in GP2 with the Lazarus squad.

Daly joins a host of others who have tested for SPM – Davide Valsecchi, Stefano Coletti, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Rocky Moran Jr. and Gabby Chaves among them – all auditioning for the second seat alongside Hinchcliffe.

In Daly’s case, it would be great to see an American who has worked for – and spoken tirelessly of – his desire to get into an IndyCar seat full-time actually have the opportunity to do so.

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.