IndyCar Star and Former F1 Test Driver Santino Ferrucci to Run Part-Time in 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series

Published 01/09/2021, 8:30 AM EST
LONG POND, PA – AUGUST 18: Santino Ferrucci driver of the #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda during driver introductions prior to the IndyCar Series – ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Earlier, there were rumors that IndyCar driver Santino Ferrucci was considering a move to NASCAR. Initially, there were suggestions that he could partner with Brett Moffitt, but those plans changed.

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Instead, the new plan is that the American driver will race for Sam Hunt Racing on a limited schedule in the Xfinity Series.

Admittedly, the 22-year old’s schedule starts a little later than everyone else. To be exact, his debut commences on February 27th at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is worth mentioning that the youngster will primarily be focusing on 1.5-mile tracks.

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“I’m incredibly proud to join Sam Hunt Racing and (Toyota Racing Development),” Ferrucci said. “I think together, we will have a ton of success. Working with Sam these past few weeks has been fantastic and his drive to put out a great racecar and team is second to none.”

Santino Ferrucci is excited to make his NASCAR debut

The controversial driver admitted that getting into the groove will be a little difficult. This is largely down to the abolishment of practice, qualifying, and testing, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Owing to this, Ferrucci will have to rely on his Chili Bowl and Super Late Model experience.

29 Santino Ferrucci (USA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312 – Mercedes), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 5, race 1, Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) – 20. – 22. June 2014 (Photo by Hoch Zwei/Corbis via Getty Images)

Throughout his IndyCar tenure, Ferrucci has participated in 35 races in the past three seasons. This included a full-time role with Dale Coyne Racing in 2019 and 2020. While he never reached Victory Lane, he did record the best finish of fourth at least four times, including one the 2020 Indianapolis 500.

Before racing on US soil, he was a test/developmental driver for the Haas F1 team and a Formula 2 driver. Unfortunately, his Formula 2 career was often mired in controversy.

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It got to a stage where he was slapped with a four-race ban. Other instances included irresponsible driving, which earned him some reprimands.

Everything culminated with his Formula 2 team letting him go, in spite of an apology, before Haas F1 cut ties with him.

Luckily, his IndyCar stint seems to have sobered him up and Sam Hunt Racing wants to give him a second chance. The team is confident that the young driver can do right by them and help them in the 2021 Xfinity campaign.

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Dhruv George

11656 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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