AJ Foyt Racing endured a tough opening race of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg presented by RP Funding after both Santino Ferrucci in the No.14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet and his rookie teammate Benjamin Pedersen in the No.55 Sexton Properties Chevrolet as they both retired from the race following a huge crash on the opening lap of the race.
Speaking following the action, Santino Ferrucci commented saying:
“I just smoked the brakes straight into the back of Helio. We were actually going to be okay because it’s just the front wing but I guess when we came out of the corner, the way he spun, it hit my right rear, and that’s kind of what killed our race. So just really upset for the boys. You know, we’ve been working really hard. We had a fantastic qualifying and yeah, I just would’ve love to log some laps and get some time on our dampers in our [new] program and see where we could have improved from there.”
Benjamin Pedersen in the No.55 Sexton Properties Chevrolet was left disappointed after he retired from his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race and speaking following the action he commented saying:
“Not the start to my first INDYCAR race that I was hoping for. “Coming through turn one, everything was very textbook. We were looking pretty decent to be honest to make progress. Then coming through [Turn] three, I noticed there was a little bit of your typical race flow traffic. As soon as I came through three, which is a blind corner, there was just a pile up of cars. Cars were horizontal [across the track], I slammed on the brakes to do my best to not be involved and looked for a gap but there were just no gaps or holes to squeeze my car into.
“Unfortunately, I hit Devlin straight on at pretty high speed and it was definitely a big hit. Fortunately, I’m totally fine and he is too. Got my hands off the wheel. Devastated for the team. Feel like we didn’t really get a chance today. We got caught out and honestly the car felt really good in warm up. We were doing really well with fuel mileage. So I honestly think we had a very good potential today for the race. I can’t wait to get back to work with the whole team and go testing at Barber soon for another rookie test. We’ll have to wait a little bit but very, very enthusiastic to get back to work and go racing again.”
Next up for AJ Foyt Racing and the rest of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is the opening oval race of the season, the PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2.