IndyCar stars attend roundtable talk at Arizona Concours d’Elegance

Arie Luyendyk
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Last weekend, stars from the last three decades of IndyCar history gathered at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix for a roundtable discussion.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar champion and 2014 Indy 500 winner, sat with Tom Sneva (winner of the 1983 Indy 500), Arie Luyendyk (1990 and ’97) and Dario Franchitti (2007, ’10 and ’12) for the discussion that was moderated by 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James.

At one point Hunter-Reay shared the story of how he came to love racing when he attended a CART race in Miami.

“I remember pressing my cheek up against a fence for the first time ever at an Indy car race in Miami and feeling one of those cars go by,” Hunter-Reay said according to IndyCar.com. “That’s when it hit me. That was it. I remember the chills going down my back. Being a kid, these guys were my superheroes.”

Sneva told of an exchange he had with the media in 1978 after becoming the first driver to complete a four-lap qualifying attempt for the Indy 500 at more than 200 mph. He had been asked how he spent his afternoon while waiting for qualifying to end.

“I told him I was at (Jim) Hurtubise’s garage talking with the consumption engineer,” Sneva said. “These (media) guys are writing this down and are pretty serious. Finally, one guy asks, ‘What’s a consumption engineer?” and I said, ‘Well, that’s the bartender.’”

You can read more about the roundtable discussion at IndyCar.com

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.