WATCH: Ride with Josef Newgarden around Road America

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When the last IndyCar race was ran at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. in 2007, Josef Newgarden was 16 years old.

Now 24, Newgarden was among the batch of IndyCar drivers to return to the 4.048-mile road course Tuesday for the series’ first test to prepare for its return to the schedule in 2016.

It was Newgarden’s first laps around the track since he competed there in Skip Barber in 2008, when he said it was “terrible compared to now.”

The Nashville, Tenn., native is preparing for his fifth year on the Verizon IndyCar circuit and although he has not publicly confirmed a contract as yet, is likely to stay with CFH Racing.

“Man, I love this place. It’s awesome,” Newgarden told MotorSportsTalk. “It’s the first time I’ve driven anything with power and grip. It’s incredible. It’s so fast. It’s all high-speed corners. Yes, some low speed corners. But every corner is fast. High commitment, very flowy track. You can’t mess up the rhythm. I like that it’s penalizing. You have to be precise. It’s just a damn cool track.”

The two-time series winner said grip was high around Road America, leading to one being “really flat through the Carousel” (Turns 9 – 10).

“It’s pretty sporty right now,” Newgarden said after the morning sesion. “And it seems to be getting quicker. We’ll see how it gets at the end of the day.”

IndyCar returns for a second, closed test on Sept. 28.

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.