By David Morgan, Associate Editor
FORT WORTH, Texas –Santino Ferrucci certainly hasn’t let the lack of experience on ovals slow him down this season as he scored his best career finish Saturday night in Texas with a fourth-place result.
After the conclusion of the DXC Technology 600, it’s safe to say the driver of the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, whose first race experience on ovals came last month in the Indianapolis 500, has become enamored with the high-speed tracks after his two best finishes of the season have come at Indianapolis and Texas.
“For someone who’s got no experience on ovals, I’m starting to say I really love them,” Ferrucci said.
While the finish may have resulted in a top-five, the 21-year old had his work cut out for him and the start of the 248-lap event after qualifying 18th. In the early stages of the race, Ferrucci held steady in the top-15, but when the caution flag flew for the first time on lap 135, it was the break he and the team were looking for as they were able to climb into the top-10.
Taking advantage of the final two caution flags of the night, Ferrucci advanced further up the leaderboard, cracking the top-five on the final restart and not relenting from that point on, eventually coming home in fourth.
The finish not only delivered him a top-five, but Ferrucci also made up the most spots of any other driver in the field by climbing 14 spots from the start of the race.
“We had fantastic stops and we just drove to the front,” Ferrucci said. “I can’t thank my spotter Pancho (Carter) enough to get me to push myself to push my limits in the car coaching me. To bring home a top-five, my first on in the IndyCar Series feels pretty good.”
Bringing his car to a stop on pit road after the race, Ferrucci emerged from the cockpit with a smile a mile wide on his face, giving waiting crew members hugs and handshakes. Fellow drivers also offered congratulations to the rookie on the accomplishment.
“I’m happy to come home here with a top-five,” Ferrucci added. “After Indy, knowing what kind of car we had, how hard our crew has been working, how much power we’ve had from Honda as well, I knew we could do something special here. Regardless of what happened in qualifying, we made something special happen, so I’m happy.”
Now that he’s scored his first top-five finish in the IndyCar Series, the question remains ‘What’s next for Santino Ferrucci?’
“We can only go higher from here,” he said. “Keep climbing.”