Graham Rahal fastest in final IndyCar warmup at Barber

INDYCAR / Chris Owens
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Starting on the front row alongside teammate Takuma Sato for today’s NTT IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park, Graham Rahal was quickest in the warmup session with a lap of 1 minute, 10.1751 seconds.

Rahal is seeking his first win since a doubleheader sweep at Detroit in 2017, and he sounded confident that he can carry over his pace from qualifying into the race.

“… I think our consistency is pretty strong, so if we can find a way to get out front, we should be able to run pretty good,” Rahal told NBCSN.

Watch the race today at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app

Second-fastest in the session was Alexander Rossi (1 minute, 10.2853 seconds), who focused on running with the red ‘alternate’ tires.

“We were trying to figure them out and get more of an understanding on what they’re gonna do,” said Rossi, who starts today’s race in 8th. “It’s gonna be an interesting race. There are two very definitive ways you can go about it, and it’s gonna be a hell of a show.”

Championship leader Josef Newgarden (along with Team Penske as a whole) struggled mightily in qualifying yesterday and starts today’s race in 16th. But there may be some hope for a salvageable outcome after he posted the third-fastest time in the session (1 minute, 10.5107 seconds).

Ryan Hunter-Reay (1 minute, 10.5596 seconds) was fourth-fastest, followed by Zach Veach (1 minute, 10.7195 seconds), who had yet another off-course excursion this weekend. This time, he lost control and slid to a stop in the grass near pit entrance.

Andretti Autosport teammates Hunter-Reay and Veach start today’s race in 11th and 23rd, respectively.

Full Warmup Results

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.