Penske’s Josef Newgarden fastest on second Indianapolis 500 practice day

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Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden paced the second day of practice for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, turning a 228.856-mph lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing was second at 228.835 mph.

Dixon’s teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, crashed with just less than an hour in the session but was unhurt after a pair of heavy impacts for his No. 10 Dallara-Honda.

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch, full daily schedules

Fernando Alonso also was OK after a crash early Wednesday afternoon.

Newgarden said his team had a “pretty clean” day without working much on preparing for qualifying Saturday.

“It was an OK day for us at least,” he said. “You saw it’s not easy. A couple wrecks today. I think that shows you that it’s not super straightforward to try and get around here even on a practice day.

“I think we need to be a bit better in traffic. Still trying to figure out exactly what we need on the race car. That was kind of our focus today. We didn’t really do much qualifying sims or anything like that.

“So yeah, we’re trucking forward. I think the Shell car feels OK. It’s not a bad start. I’m trying to stay careful with it. I always try and respect this place at the beginning. I never try and push until it’s time. Just you’ve always got to watch your back around here. She’s a tough place at a lot of moments.”

Spencer Pigot, Santino Ferrucci and Helio Castroneves rounded out the top five speeds.

Alexander Rossi (224.648 mph) had the fastest speed without a tow during the session.

“It’s pretty irrelevant,” Rossi said. “It’s good, right? I mean, I think there’s inherent pace in the car, which is always a question mark coming here.

“We were joking earlier kind of among the drivers, the drivers are a much smaller equation at a place like this in terms of the overall performance at least in single lap pace. It’s really down to the car and the setup that you come up with. It’s a positive thing, but still, super irrelevant at this point.”

Click here for the results of Wednesday’s second practice for the 103rd Indy 500.

Click here for the combined results of the first two practices.

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.