On Sunday, Santino Ferrucci started 15th and finished 10th at the Indianapolis 500 for the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team, extending his streak of having finished inside the top 10 in every Indy 500 he’s contested.
On Tuesday, he turned 23 years old. On Wednesday morning, his vehicle was hit in the parking lot of a McDonald’s while trying to buy breakfast, and by Wednesday afternoon, he was announced as Juncos Hollinger Racing’s newest driver as he subs for the injured Callum Ilott at Detroit.
It’s been a busy couple of days for the former full-time NTT IndyCar Series driver who hopes his impressive body of work so far this season leads a team owner to consider him for more full-time employment in the future.
“I’m very, very happy with the chance I’m given by Ricardo Juncos and Brad [Hollinger], and we’ve had great results in Detroit in the past and I’m just trying to obviously come back full-time to IndyCar,” Ferrucci told RACER. “To be in the game, you’ve got to stay relevant. So any way that you can make that happen is good. Getting this opportunity has been great — I know Callum will be back really soon, and while I’m here, hopefully it helps me to get my career back into a full-time situation.”
Hailed for his exemplary oval performances, the young American’s record on IndyCar’s road and street courses are often overlooked. With nine top-10 finishes, including a pair of 10ths and a sixth at the site of this weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix, Ferrucci has made his case as an all-around talent in every IndyCar discipline. In a part-time role for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing last year, Ferrucci contested five races in the No. 45 Honda and produced results of sixth at the Indy 500, sixth and 10th at Detroit, ninth at Mid-Ohio and 11th at Nashville.
Ultimately, former Meyer Shank Racing driver Jack Harvey was selected for the No. 45 seat, and when Harvey was injured and unable to drive at Round 2 this year in Texas, Ferrucci stepped in cold and raced from last to ninth at the finish line. Through six races held so far this year, it continues to serve as the best result for RLL’s No. 45 Honda.
“After Texas, it was a really good result to hop back in the car, but it was so early in the season, people weren’t even thinking about drivers for next year,” he said of building interest for his future services. “If we can go out there and kick some ass again in Detroit this weekend — and I really want to win this race — it’s obviously going to be a good thing to get more people interested in me. And don’t get me wrong, I loved driving for Dreyer & Reinbold and I keep pushing them to do more races. But the best I can do is take what’s in front of me and be consistent with it and go for a good result and see what happens from there.
“It’s a new team for me, but it’s also a good track for me. I just want for teams out there to come away thinking that they can benefit from my knowledge and what I can do when it’s time to race. I’ve driven for multiple different teams and I just want to get back here on a regular basis.”