By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
INDIANAPOLIS – Never afraid to navigate around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Santino Ferrucci looks to make his fifth Indianapolis 500 start, his finest yet.
It appears promising after Wednesday’s practice session where he denied Chip Ganassi Racing from sweeping the top-four as he was third quickest. The best out of the Chevrolet camp, the AJ Foyt Racing driver had a best speed of 228.977 mph and ran 79 laps during the six-hour session.
Primarily focusing on race trim, Ferrucci was flattered to see his No. 14 Chevrolet look strong right out of the gate. Flattered enough, he said during the post-practice press conference that he doesn’t really expect the car undergoing massive adjustments leading up to the 107th Indianapolis 500 next Sunday.
“We were looking for a tow lap like everybody else. What I didn’t expect was to be passing people in that lap,” said Ferrucci. “To be able to follow as closely as we did because we did make a change before we put the set of stickers on because the left rear is a little bit softer this year.
“With the track being as green as it is, they’re not quite lasting as long as we probably would have liked the first day, but expect that to obviously change.”
In four previous starts, Ferrucci has never finishing outside the top-10 with 10th a year ago being his worst when he drove for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
A key to his success at Indy is by carving his way through the field where he gets to focus on his driving, no matter where he had to start.
“I would much rather start on the outside row five or six than having to manage being up front,” said Ferrucci. “We got up front with the Dreyer (& Reinbold) car started 15th last year and we stayed up front all day till the very end. It’s one of those things where we can definitely do it and we have pace, but my focus is always a race car.”
Never a fan of qualifying, Ferrucci saves all the talking on race day. With one minor exception being a year ago where his pit crew helped him maintain his perfect top-10 at Indianapolis.
“I’m just a racer, so I think it really shows that I like the race. I’m not afraid to pass people. I’m not afraid to be on the limits in the pits and get the guys going,” said Ferrucci.
“Last year, the team did really save me in pit lane quite a bit, which was nice. I didn’t have the greatest restarts, which is kind of unusual. I was definitely…
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