Photo: Walter G. Arce Sr. /ASP Inc.

Santino Ferrucci Leads, Finishes Fourth at Gateway

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

MADISON, Illinois — Michael Cannon is frustrated.

“You always remember the ones that got away, like this is one that got away,” said Cannon. “A car that’s that fast shouldn’t finish fourth, that car should be P1.”

Santino Ferrucci’s race engineer for Dale Coyne Racing was happy with another top-five finish. But after leading 97 laps, the veteran engineer wanted more than fourth place.

“There were 1-2 things he had concerns about after [Friday] evening’s practice and it looks like we fixed them,” said Cannon. “Just tire wear issues, we tidied that up.

“Good job to Sato and I’m really pleased for Tony (Kanaan) and Ed (Carpenter) but at the same time, man, when you’ve got a car that fast, you should be bringing some tin home.”

Ferrucci first led on Lap 83 and eventually fell back a bit after a timely yellow helped out eventual race winner Takuma Sato, Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden.

Ferrucci got fourth late in the race from Newgarden but while going for third place on the last lap, the Connecticut native got caught out by Kanaan’s last lap defense and had to get on the brakes late.

While going back to the racing line, Ferrucci caught Newgarden by surprise and Newgarden spun to avoid hitting the No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda but the rookie was still frustrated that he couldn’t get onto the podium.

“I’m just a little bummed at the end there,” said Ferrucci. “I was really trying hard to get into that top three position. We’ve finished fourth three times now and you know I feel like we deserve some damn hardware! I do feel really bad for Josef, I was just trying to save my butt, and unfortunately, I wish he lifted a little bit more, but that’s racing at the end of the day and I’m glad he was able to finish for his championship as well.

“Little bit of my fault, I was coming off the high side trying to save it and I really pinched him off but I just really want to say sorry because I had nowhere to go because I didn’t want to stay up in the marbles because I was really close to the wall. At the end of the day, it’s racing.”

This was Ferrucci’s third fourth place finish of the season and while the driver was a bit happy with the result, the engineer wasn’t on the same page.

“It’s always fun when you’re up there,” said Cannon. “I guess we’ll just have to wait until Portland. I think we have a good road circuit car so we’ll see what we can do. This is one that slipped through our fingers but it’s not going to happen again.”

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.