By David Morgan, Associate Editor
FORT WORTH, Texas – The No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry will have a new pilot for Sunday’s running of the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway, with Santino Ferrucci taking over for Jack Harvey.
First reported by Trackside Online, the move comes a day after Harvey crashed heavily in final practice on the 1.5-mile track, which cracked the tub on his primary car and forced the team to a backup for the race.
Following the crash on Saturday, Harvey was checked and released from the infield care center and cleared to drive by IndyCar, but things have changed heading into Sunday.
The sanctioning body released a statement on race morning that Harvey was rechecked by the medical staff per their protocols following high g-force crashes and the data gathered from the accelerometer drivers are mandated to wear led to Harvey not being cleared to drive at Texas.
“Per INDYCAR protocol, all drivers wear accelerometers that measure g-forces exhibited during an incident,” the statement read. “These get evaluated, fully, after each incident, and if the result of the g-forces surpasses the minimum threshold, drivers must be re-evaluated prior to returning to competition. Following the protocol, the driver of the No. 45, Jack Harvey, was re-evaluated this morning and was not cleared for racing. Harvey is working closely with the INDYCAR medical team regarding next steps.”
The team confirmed that Ferrucci would indeed be suiting up to drive in Harvey’s absence, with the 23-year-old being allowed 15 minutes of on track time at 11:15 am ET to get acclimated with the car.
Ferrucci is no stranger to driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, having competed in five races for the team during the 2021 season, finishing 11th or higher in all five starts. He has also made two previous starts at Texas, finishing fourth at the track in 2019 while driving for Dale Coyne Racing.
As a result of the driver change, Ferrucci will drop to the back of the field for the start of the race, which moves the No. 45 entry from 24th to 27th on the starting grid.