INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, it was rookie Santino Ferrucci who made headlines in the 103th Running of the Indianapolis 500. He had a Coyne car, was making his first oval start, and climbed to a seventh place finish after mowing the Turn 3 grass during the Lap 176 crash.
He was Rookie of the Year here.
This month, his No. 18 Honda struggled. He couldn’t get the right handle on it during practice. He qualified 19th. But, on Carb Day, he said he found something. The Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan team got his car to his liking.
He was confident heading into Sunday’s 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500. It showed.
Ferrucci quickly moved up the field and by midrace, he was around the top 10. A few laps later, he was sniffing the top five.
The Connecticut native was making daring passes for a second consecutive year and the 125 pound driver punched way above his weight. Ferrucci finished an impressive fourth, which ties his previous best career result for the fourth time.
The last time was in Gateway a year ago next weekend. This was also his fourth top 10 finish in his last six starts on the season.
But, if he keeps driving like this and trends hold true, Ferrucci is going to win next year. Seventh…Fourth….first?
“Just an incredible race,” said the second year driver. “The SealMaster Honda was insane today. We started 19th and finished fourth. The guys worked really hard on pit lane, on the timing stand, and the strategy was perfect.
“I’m just really happy. After two incredibly long weeks of focusing on the SealMaster car, we ended really good. During the first pit stop, I got caught in neutral, and it was like a blessing in disguise. It set us way back, but the momentum we had just carried us.
“On the restart, we went from 25th right back into the top 10, where we needed to be, and we just fought our way into the top four.”