Kanaan leads Ganassi 1-2 in Iowa opening practice

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Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon were 1-2 in the opening 45-minute practice session for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway.

Kanaan set his flier of 179.218 mph on his fifth lap and Dixon 179.113 on his third.

The pair of drivers who dominated the 2014 edition of the race before being caught out versus other drivers on new tires were the only two drivers north of 179 mph at the 0.894-mile oval in first practice, held in scorching conditions of 92 degrees Fahrenheit ambient, 130 on track and with 62 percent humidity per Firestone.

Two-time and defending Iowa winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was third ahead of fellow Americans Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden.

Series points leader Juan Pablo Montoya was sixth ahead of Milwaukee winner Sebastien Bourdais.

There were two yellow flags for track inspection and Jack Hawksworth went behind the wall with a mechanical issue, apparently a loose hose, but the A.J. Foyt Enterprises team fixed it and got the Englishman back out.

Second and final practice runs from 6 to 6:45 p.m. CT and local time.

Speeds from first practice are below:

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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.