Justin Grant Enters 2023 With Bucket Lists on the Mind
Jan 13, 2023
Just because Santino Ferrucci inked a full-time return to IndyCar doesn’t mean the barnstorming phase of his racing career has come to a close.
He’s literally driving for AJ Foyt, the prototype for racing in as many disciplines as possible, so why wouldn’t the 24-year-old from Woodbury, Connecticut keep racing Stock Cars and Midgets whenever opportunities present themselves?
"I won't be just an IndyCar only kind of guy," Ferrucci said. "Unless, you know, there's only one or two teams on the grid that would keep you in IndyCar only. I'm on the one team where I can get away with driving everything.
Which is good, because Ferrucci inked a three year deal with Dave Mac Motorsports last year to keep racing in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, and this is just year two.
It's his third year racing the event overall.
"I could race a school bus and the Foyts would be excited about it," Ferrucci said with a laugh. "But I hope to extend with our partners here too. I really enjoy this race, but it's definitely hard to jump in once a year be where you need to be against everyone else here."
To that point, he definitely wants to make another start in the BC39 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Dirt Track. It makes all the sense in the world now too that he's back in IndyCar and racing under the shadow of the Pagoda.
Ferrucci needs more seat time, and will always need more seat time, but his teammate, Canon McIntosh says he's seen exactly the kind of improvement needed at this stage of his run in the Tulsa Expo Center.
"He's a really good race car driver," McIntosh said. "He gives good feedback and helps us steer him in the right direction. He just needs to be more aggressive and he knows that too.
"He's fast, but it's about finding that line in passing that you can't go over, but need to cross without crashing."
And Ferrucci knows it too.
"I tell everyone that I can put in a hot lap," Ferrucci said. "I can be quick in this thing. Like without a doubt. The issue that separates the real top drivers from people like myself that come here once or a couple of times a year is the race craft.
"It's understanding the track, knowing when the change line and how to move by people. That's something I'm still trying to get a grasp on, but I'm also still trying to drive conservatively, not because I want to but because I have to. I have to take care of myself and the car."
His hot lap session was an adventure as he had an air bubble in his brake line.
"We had no brakes," Ferrucci said. "On a juiced up track, you don't need it, but it's a security thing, right? I haven't been in one of these in a year. I'd like to stop the car if I need to.
"But it's been amazing, even at the shootout, it's been so good. These guys work nonstop. It's awesome and I hope to keep doing this the rest of my career."