Foyt pair leads Honda 1-2-3 in Barber second practice

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In the second 75-minute practice session of the weekend at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Round 4 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, Honda runners ended 1-2-3.

A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ pairing of Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth were first and second in the Nos. 14 and 41 ABC Supply Co. Hondas, and were split by only 0.004 of a second with Sato on top.

Hawksworth was second in the morning session as well, behind Sebastien Bourdais.

James Hinchcliffe was third, continuing his practice pace after also ending high up the charts in Long Beach, with Will Power and Graham Rahal completing the top five.

The Chip Ganassi Racing contingent was only ninth (Scott Dixon), 14th (Tony Kanaan), 17th (Max Chilton) and 20th (Charlie Kimball).

Similar issues befell Andretti Autosport’s four-pack, with none of its four cars higher than 11th.

The session was delayed to start owing to earlier rain that fell during the Pirelli World Challenge GTS race, and then forced the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires into a track-drying qualifying session (where Aaron Telitz took a dramatic pole for Team Pelfrey), but the session ran to its conclusion without any red flags.

Temperatures started at 70 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and 86 on track when the session began, but fell to 69 and 83 45 minutes into the session, per Firestone.

Times 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
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.