MRTI: Stoneman, O’Ward, Thompson win Saturday at Indy GP

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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The three remaining races out of six for the Mazda Road to Indy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Saturday saw one new winner and two repeat winners (Friday quick reports here).

Dean Stoneman secured his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires win following a magical first green flag lap (Lap 3 overall following two separate incidents) where he rose from fifth on the grid to first in the No. 27 Stellrecht Dallara IL-15 Mazda for Andretti Autosport. He then led the balance of the race to become the sixth winner in seven races this year.

While Felix Serralles alternated flying laps with a couple tenths off he made a late-race mistake at Turn 12 that cost him a likely runner-up finish for Carlin, and it promoted Santiago Urrutia to his second runner-up finish in as many days in the No. 55 Soul Red Mazda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Kyle Kaiser coming third in his No. 18 Intervision/NetApp/Juniper Networks entry for Juncos Racing.

Carlin’s Ed Jones finished fourth and consolidated his points lead with Serralles back in fifth, ahead of fellow Felix, Felix Rosenqvist of Belardi Auto Racing. A number of incidents occurred behind them.

Indy Lights coverage from the IMS road course will air on NBCSN on Sunday, May 22, at 1:00 pm EDT.

The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires race was less eventful with Pato O’Ward scoring his fifth win in six races in the No. 80 Gap Guard/Topo Chico car for Team Pelfrey. Aaron Telitz (Team Pelfrey) and Will Owen (Juncos Racing) completed the podium behind the 17-year-old Mexican.

In the second Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race, Parker Thompson of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing won his third race of the year and first at IMS, ahead of Victor Franzoni (ArmsUp Motorsports) and Luke Gabin (JAY Motorsports), the latter of whom capped off a roller coaster weekend with an incredible result.

Both O’Ward and Thompson enjoy significant leads in their respective series.

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.