Santino Ferrucci recently signed a deal to race part-time in the 2021 Xfinity Series season. The 22-year-old will drive for Sam Hunt Racing to gain some much-needed experience.
Ferrucci has mainly driven in the open-wheel classes of motorsport racing, coming through from Formula 2 and then plying his trade in IndyCar. Hence, it will be a whole new learning curve when he comes around to try out NASCAR.
As he enters a whole new class, he would naturally need all the assistance he can get. And according to a report, a familiar big name in Jimmie Johnson has already interacted with Ferrucci to help him.
Journalist Bob Pockrass stated, “Ferrucci has talked with seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who has helped him work with people in NASCAR that Johnson trusts.”
With Johnson helping a newcomer like Ferrucci, the latter’s comfort level with the sport will only soar. For the time being, the former IndyCar driver would focus on gaining some valuable experience. In addition, the need to familiarize himself with the traditional machinery will also be there.
Ferrucci said, “The few partners and sponsors I work with on a daily basis find NASCAR to be a little more attractive [with] the new car (in 2022) to level the playing field and the fact that NASCAR is going to more road courses.
“The atmosphere, working with Sam and working with Toyota. [Toyota] is so involved with the drivers. And NASCAR wants to get behind me as a driver – I am from a different world, I didn’t grow up with anything oval related in my background and I think the story is there,” concluded Ferrucci on the subject.
Before fulfilling his Xfinity commitments, the Connecticut native will compete in the famed dirt racing event, the Chili Bowl Nationals. Many NASCAR stars such as Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, and a few others are also taking part.
Ferrucci might start in the heats for Wednesday’s qualifiers on the incredibly tricky dirt racing tracks. Regardless, much like this event, 2021 would form a year of experience for him in his racing career.