Leist leads rookie test at ISM Raceway

Photo: IndyCar

The Verizon IndyCar Series’ open test at ISM Raceway in Phoenix began on Thursday with a rookie test for all drivers making their IndyCar debuts at the one-mile oval. A.J. Foyt Racing’s Matheus Leist led the way with a quick lap of 184.236 mph, the only driver to go faster than 184 mph at any time, in his No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet.

Pietro Fittipaldi ended up second with a best lap of 183.347 mph, a solid oval debut with Dale Coyne Racing. Robert Wickens, Spencer Pigot, Zach Veach, Kyle Kaiser, and Gabby Chaves rounded out the rookie field.

Marco Andretti also turned laps in Veach’s No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda to help shakedown the car. Andretti turned the seventh fastest lap in the process.

The open test continues tomorrow with two sessions, the first beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET and the second at 8:00 p.m. ET, with all entries taking part. All four sessions between Friday and Saturday will be streamed on IndyCar’s website.

Results from the rookie test can be found here.



Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images

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.