Fans celebrate 101 days to the 101st Indianapolis 500

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Almost 2,000 fans gathered Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a pizza party celebrating 101 Days until the 101st Indianapolis 500.

The day began with an unveiling of the ticket for 2017 race, featuring defending winner Alexander Rossi. The ticket features a red, white, and blue logo for the 2017 event at the top left while Rossi is featured in the center, adorning the winner’s wreath and receiving a milk bath at the hands of Bryan Herta amidst celebrations with Michael Andretti and other Andretti-Herta Autosport team members.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 29: Alexander Rossi of the United States pumps his fist as he crosses the finish line to win the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

“This year’s ticket features a spectacular design, and it will be a great keepsake for fans for years to come,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles. “We’re grateful to our friends at Cummins, who share our passion for racing and the Indy 500, for hosting us this morning and creating such a special memory for Alexander, as well as the many community partners and Verizon IndyCar Series fans in attendance.”

Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, and Josef Newgarden were among the drivers in attendance, signing autographs and greeting the fans in attendance. Among the activities that highlighted the evening was a simulator that allowed attendees to take virtual laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Last year’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 was a flying success, with the event completely selling out and featuring one of the most exciting 500-mile races ever held. Thirteen drivers swapped the lead 54 times, with Rossi running out of fuel as he approached the start/finish line to claim the victory.

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.