Considering that his first-ever lap in a stock car was the pace lap in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Contender Boats 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, former IndyCar driver Santino Ferrucci was reasonably satisfied despite a 30th-place finish.
“I’m not upset about this finish,” Ferrucci posted on Twitter. “Awesome job by the team! We came and learned a ton. Let’s get in Vegas.”
A wall-banging incident in Stage 2 on the fast, 1.5-mile Florida oval, though, cost the Sam Hunt Racing Toyota driver two full laps effecting repairs. No shame there as many others finished with wall paint on their machines’ right-rear corner, but his was a hard hit and he was subsequently also penalized for running over pit equipment, and never able to recover the two laps despite the caution flags and race restarts that kept the 40-car field bunched to the end.
— Sam Hunt Racing (@Team_SHR26) February 28, 2021
Before his NASCAR debut, Ferrucci had stated his goal clearly: “We don’t really have many expectations going into the race at Homestead; you just want the car to come back in one piece, and laps are laps for us,” he told RACER Magazine’s Kelly Crandall. “No sense throwing away your first race trying to do something spectacular. It’s all about being consistent and building up to it slowly.”
To that end, Ferrucci’s first Xfinity race provided plenty to build on as his NASCAR adventure continues at Las Vegas next week.