OKBET ASIA | Ferrucci yearns for leadership, while Foyt seeks stability

OKBET ASIA | Ferrucci yearns for leadership, while Foyt seeks stability post thumbnail image



It would seem that Larry Foyt, president of the AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet team, and Santino Ferrucci, the company’s newest appointment, have similar goals for the 2023 season.

Rookie Kyle Kirkwood had a very talented rookie season, but he had multiple accidents in the Foyt #14, finishing 20th or worse in 10 of the 17 races. This led to the team finishing 24th in the championship.

In 2023, Ferrucci, a veteran of 43 IndyCar starts, will pilot the #14 car while Larry Foyt and the legendary A.J. Foyt take a chance on another rookie, Lights graduate Benjamin Pedersen, to replace Dalton Kellett in the #4 car.

Foyt said, “I believe there were courses last year that we had speed on and tracks that we struggled on.” The troublesome songs are getting some attention. The good news is that I believe Santino will be able to extract every last bit of performance from the vehicle and lead to some solid results, which will hopefully set the ship back on the proper course. This is something I really believe.

We don’t expect to constantly shock people, but there’s no reason we can’t sometimes crack the top 10, and maybe even do a little better.

Even though the Pedersen and Ferrucci contracts were finalized in the first week of October, Foyt nonetheless felt a sense of relief.


It’s a breath of fresh air. Even the workers at the workshop seem more confident and sure of themselves today. Wow, this is very cool. Although the winter may seem lengthy to the spectators since we don’t compete for a while, the time flies quickly in the race shop, so that’s wonderful to hear.

Now is the time to get a head start on our winter to-do list. There’s just a lot of it. It feels great to finally put an end to this. Now that we have a plan of action, we can go to work.

While “nothing official” had been announced about additions to the team’s engineering or crew lines-ups, Foyt did say that the team would be “stacking” test days in 2023 while the cars were being refined this winter.

The primary reason is that we have some new damper gear coming online that we’re finishing up, so we’re delaying the most of our on-track testing until next year, he said. We need to give it a little bit of time in the shaker to make sure everything is tight before we set it in motion. I don’t believe we’ll do anything on schedule this year.

The team’s commercial success in 2022 was limited, with third driver Tatiana Calderon and ROKiT sponsorship both leaving before the season’s halfway point. Foyt remarked that in ’23, both of the team’s cars would display “a few different liveries… We won’t have the one major sponsor this time.” Sexton Properties stepped up to the plate on the #14 vehicle to augment the Road To Indy scholarship money that Kirkwood had brought as 2021 Indy Lights winner.

When asked about his performance, Ferrucci stated he was aware of what was expected of him both on and off the track and that he had learned a lot from his time with Sebastien Bourdais, his first IndyCar teammate at Dale Coyne Racing. “helped guide me out of a lot of wrongs and rabbit holes to really establish me more on my ways for IndyCar,” Ferrucci said of the four-time winner. The most valuable thing I took away from him was undoubtedly his knowledge of team leadership. In most cases, I’ll have it with me.

Let’s see what we can do with this, and I’m pleased to present it to A.J. and Larry’s team. It’s great to have a young, quick rookie like Benjamin. Unfortunately, I don’t suppose I’m all that much older than he is. The presence of someone who welcomes further challenge is welcome.

The vehicle’s speed has been shown this year. It has shown flashes of genius at times. How to maintain uniformity is the issue at hand. Because he was driving with an inexperienced driver, the vehicle dropped out of several races. Getting everyone on the same page again.

Are we going to shock the world by appearing in St. Pete? In no uncertain terms. Are we going to try to drive consistently in the top 10 by setting modest targets at the outset? Sure, no question about that. My new team is a fresh start. By the time we begin winter preparations, everything will be totally reorganized… Keeping our expectations in check and maintaining a steady course will provide the best results.

I discussed this with Larry, and we may be able to get a few competent engineers. Being headquartered in Texas allows me to devote a lot of time to the team, ensuring that our pit stops are efficient and that our cars are built to the highest standards. All I can say is, “Let’s just go out there and play, and see what happens.”

An introspective Ferrucci also confessed that, throughout his two years of split-time between IndyCar and NASCAR, he sometimes questioned whether or not he would ever be able to return to open-wheel racing full-time.

Everything I’ve gotten in the previous five years, including this year, has been entirely based on my merit, he remarked. I was sponsored my first year racing IndyCar and again to a lesser extent the following season. After then, dealing with COVID became quite challenging for me personally. Because of my need to locate co-workers who shared my enthusiasm for NASCAR, we made a temporary shift in focus. I was curious and eager to give it a go. If you’re wondering why I was over there, I’ll fill you in.

Being able to obtain these part-time rides and substitute for the kids who inevitably get hurt has been the only thing that has kept me going at such a young age.

At the 500, I’ve had a lot of success thanks to our team’s record of four top-ten finishes in four races. In particular, I know I have a chance of winning that race. However, the quality varies greatly throughout the course of a whole season. I believe everyone’s eyes have been opened a little by my ability to sub at the last minute with excellent results and show a lot of speed. I can simply hop in and wheel the vehicle to the best of my abilities.

It’s a privilege to be driving full-time for Larry again. It’s very challenging for drivers like me to make ends meet right now, and a lot of us are considering going back to flipping burgers. All I can say is that I appreciate the chance very much.

I’m prepared to put in more effort than ever before to prove that our team can succeed and that our choice to re-establish our partnership was the best option for everyone.

With four Top 10 results on Memorial Day Weekend under his belt, Ferrucci, the 2019 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, is confident in his ability to make significant contributions to a team’s setup work at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He boasted, “I have my own books from driving for many teams and on various circuits.” “At this stage in my life, I know precisely what it is that I want in a vehicle. I can take care of a wide variety of issues with the car’s configuration.

: “I have no personal knowledge of Benjamin. His driving style is unknown to me. However, I’m certain that by having someone with my expertise… Of course, I’m no Sebastien Bourdain; believe me, I know. Nevertheless, having him around for that one year as a rookie trying to figure things out was a big help.

Yes, I am certain that I will do an excellent job serving as a leader while assisting him. As a group, I believe we are capable of doing great things. So, I anticipate that we will be productive.

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