INDIANAPOLIS – Santino Ferrucci was in tears after last Sunday’s 107th Indy 500.
The AJ Foyt Racing driver from Woodbury, Connecticut had just driven the best race of his career, only to have the final yellow flag of the race fly just a second or two before he would have been in position for the win.
The field had just been given the green flag with four laps to go and Ferrucci was charging in the No. 14 Chevrolet into Turn 1, about to pass both Josef Newgarden for second place, which would have put him in prime position to draft past Marcus Ericsson for the victory.
JOSEF’S FAMILY TIES: Newgarden wins Indy 500 with wisdom of father, wife
But IndyCar race control issued the third red flag stoppage in the final 15 laps of the race and with Ferrucci 2 inches behind Newgarden’s Chevrolet, he was lined up third.
When IndyCar had the remaining drivers refire the engines for three-quarters of a lap behind the Pace Car followed by a one-lap green and white flag dash to the finish, Ferrucci knew there was little he could do to get past the front two cars.
Newgarden passed Ericsson on the backstretch and went on to take the checkered flag for his first Indianapolis 500 victory. Ericsson was just 0.0974-of-a-second away from winning the Indy 500 for the second year in a row and Ferrucci was 0.5273-of-a-second away from winning his first career NTT IndyCar Series race.
It was a fantastic effort for Ferrucci, but to come so close to winning the biggest race in the world, the kid from Connecticut was heartbroken.
“We were so good this month,” Ferrucci told NBC Sports after climbing out of his car. “When you are that fast all month long, you just want it that much more. The way we did everything to finish the race under green, it’s great for the fans, IndyCar did the right thing, but sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow restarting third like that when you are really second.
“It’s all timing and scoring. That doesn’t lie. If it says we are third, we are third. It’s very bittersweet.”
When Ericsson and Newgarden were both “Unleashing the Dragon” with the draft-breaking zigzag moves at the end of the race, Ferrucci admitted he was hoping it would play into his favor if those two made contact ahead of him.
“I was hoping and praying because when you are third, that’s all you can do – hope and pray,” Ferrucci said.
His prayers were not answered, but his determination to win the Indianapolis 500 remains undeterred.
He has never finished outside of the top 10 in the Indianapolis 500. Ferrucci was seventh as a rookie in 2019, fourth in 2020, sixth in 2021, 10th last year and third this past Sunday.
“I love this place,” the driver said. “I love coming here. I’m always so comfortable in the race. We are good at avoiding all of the accidents that happened in front of us.
“We will win it eventually. We have to.”
Ferrucci has proven he likes to rise to the big moments.
“I like the pressure,” he said. “We do well under pressure.
“But you have to take third, sometimes.
“We had a really good shot at winning this race. We made the most of it.”
Ferrucci continues to display the uncanny knack for racing hard and avoiding trouble. When he took the lead in the No. 14 car made famous by his team owner, legendary four-time Indianapolis 500 winner AJ Foyt, many of the fans in the crowd of 330,000 roared with approval.
Ferrucci was in front for 11 laps and was in prime position to pounce at the end, before the final 15 laps brought out red flag fever.
Because of that, and the timing of where he was when the last yellow light came on before the final red, put him in a difficult position to win the race.
“It’s just emotional, bittersweet,” he said. “It was emotional getting in the car, which was kind of strange because you feel like there’s a lot of people that really want this, the team really wants this.
“We worked so hard to be where we were. We ran out front all day long. It’s definitely one of the more difficult races that I’ve probably ever run, and just we also knew that we had a really good car.
“We got really close with Felix Rosenqvist when he was wrecking so very thankful, we were able to avoid that. And then yeah, coming to the end, I think on the second to final restart, me and Marcus battling it into 1, and obviously it going red when it did, it’s part of this place, it’s part of racing, it’s part of the Speedway.
“I’m just bummed. I’m sure Marcus Ericsson thinks the same thing I do.
“All three of us could have won it at any point in time.
“Yeah, it’s bittersweet.”
A few days have passed since Ferrucci was crying when he got out of the race car. He celebrated his birthday on Wednesday by mowing his lawn after a 12-hour drive back to his home in Texas. On Thursday morning, he flies to Detroit to get ready for this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the streets of downtown Detroit.
It has given him a chance to reflect on the biggest weekend of his career.
Big 25 Today!!!
Just wanted to thank everyone for all the birthday wishes and messages from this past weekend.
The support has been unreal, and I’m just soaking up every moment and super thankful to be in the position I am right now in my life.
Cheers Everyone 🥂 #25 pic.twitter.com/cdowYC995B
— Santino Ferrucci (@SantinoFerrucci) May 31, 2023
“Everybody saw on national television I was basically crying,” Ferrucci said. “It’s just one of those competitor things in you that there was so much riding on that race, and it was going so well up until that — it finished really well.
“It wasn’t just pressure to perform but emotional pressure to just be there and to know that we probably had that race won, had it gone yellow two seconds later, it’s just kind of heartbreaking. But still, at the end of the day, you come home in third, to join Helio Castroneves and one other driver, (Harry Hartz, who finished second, second, fourth, fourth and second from 1922-1926), in five of your first five starts in top 10s. And, then you really start to look at what you’ve accomplished at the 500 in your first five starts with four different teams and what you did with A.J. Foyt — what we’ve done at AJ Foyt Racing, who hasn’t had a podium or top 3 since the year 2000 at the Speedway.
“There are so many positives, and that day could have been so much worse. We had so many close calls between pit lane and some of the crashes on track that at the end of the day I was just really, really happy.
“I went to bed that night knowing that I did the best I could, the team did the best they could, and that’s the track.”
Ferrucci stressed that he didn’t have a problem with IndyCar race control doing everything in their power to make sure the race finished the distance under green.
“The way that IndyCar finished under green was 100 percent correct for the fans,” Ferrucci said. “It didn’t affect anything for me. What affected me wasn’t the red, it was the yellow.
“The second it went yellow, had it gone yellow two seconds later had they waited, which you can’t wait when you’re crashing, so there’s nothing you can do, I was in third, I was about 6 inches behind Newgarden, and that’s very clear in the video.
“At the end of the day, nothing changed for me. The fact that they actually went red and restarted the race gave me that opportunity to win again. I just didn’t have a great restart because it’s chaotic when you just go. You’ve got to also remember there’s no restart zone.
“At that point when you’re going green for one lap, it was really cool to see the shootout, I’m not going to lie, but you know that they’re going green, so you were literally at the hands of the leader on a completely random — you could start going into 3 in the middle of 3 and 4 out of 4. He could start the race whenever he wanted to start the race instead of in the zone, so it was completely unpredictable.
“(Ericsson) had a really good jump, and I did not. That’s what took me out of the win at the end of the race. It had nothing to do with IndyCar or the red in my opinion.”
Ferrucci and rookie teammate Benjamin Pedersen helped put a smile on 88-year-old AJ Foyt’s face in what started as the one of the saddest months of Foyt’s life after his wife of 68 years, Lucy, died.
Foyt returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dealing with grief, but for the past three weeks, he was able to see his racing team return to prominence.
“I think he was really proud,” Ferrucci said of Foyt. “There’s truly two people that understood my emotions and felt my emotions on Sunday. A.J. was one, and Michael Cannon (his engineer) was the other.
“If you look at some of the photos from that day, you can kind of see it in my eyes, just — you really have to have it in your hands and then lose it in your hands to kind of understand that feeling of when you work that hard. You have to understand you’re coming from a team with two cars, a budget that’s a quarter of the size of Penske and Ganassi, and that’s all month long. We wanted it probably that much more than everybody else that day.
“To come up that short, A.J.’s finished second and third on dominant days in the ’70s, and he talked about those races, where we had the car to win. We were by far the best car at the end of that race. Once the Team McLarens were out of it and the 10 car and the 21 had the incident in pit lane, that left us.
“We were the car to win, and yeah, just sitting third knowing there’s nothing you can do, after all that hard work, yeah, it’s a feeling that very few people would understand.
“But he was incredibly proud of I think what the organization accomplished. I’m very proud of Larry and what Larry Foyt has done with the team because Larry has had control of this team since 2007, and to see him get his first podium as a team boss and team owner at the speedway was huge.
“I think everybody was incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Auburn Hills, Michigan, May 29, 2023 – After crossing the finish line at the 2023 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in the fourth closest finish in Indy 500 history, Josef Newgarden was crowned the winner of the 107th Indianapolis 500 and awarded the Borg-Warner Trophy® by BorgWarner President ...Who kissed the Indy 500 winner? ›
Josef Newgarden kisses the bricks at Indianapolis after Indy 500 victory | NBC Sports.Who are the favorites for the Indy 500 this year? ›
Spaniard Alex Palou (+600) earned the pole position and is the consensus betting favorite after clocking the fastest qualifying time. He's a former IndyCar Series champion (2021) and is the current championship leader after five races. Rinus VeeKay and Felix Rosenqvist will be on the front row with Palou.What channel is the Indy 500 on 2023? ›
The Indy 500 is going to be one of the biggest events of 2023, but as a PPV, it's airing on NBC, so now's the time to sign up. Also you can watch the Indy 500 with Peacock.What does Indy 500 winner get? ›
According to Indycar, in 2022, the Indianapolis 500 purse was $16,000,200 and the winner payout was $3.1 million. “This is the greatest race in the world, and it was an especially monumental Month of May featuring packed grandstands and intense on-track action,” Penske Entertainment President and CEO Mark Miles said.How much did the Indy winner win? ›
INDIANAPOLIS -- Josef Newgarden celebrated his first Indianapolis 500 win Sunday night. He cashed in Monday at the race's annual victory dinner. The two-time IndyCar champ earned a record $3.666 million for the biggest win of his career, an increase of more than $500,000 over last year's race winner, Marcus Ericsson.Do winners of the Indy 500 drink milk? ›
Henceforth, the tradition of the Indianapolis 500 winner drinking milk was born. The practice occurred intermittently until 1956, which marked the first year when the dairy industry offered prize money. Since then, every victorious driver of the Indianapolis 500 has partaken in this symbolic sip, except for one.Who is the girl on Indy now? ›
Jillian Deam is the host of Indy Now, FOX59's lifestyle show airing weekdays at 10 a.m. With more than a decade of experience in the media industry, Jillian is no stranger to the television world or the Indianapolis market.Why pour milk after winning the Indianapolis 500? ›
INDIANAPOLIS — The winner of the Indianapolis 500 drinks milk in Victory Lane. It's a tradition. In 1936, Louis Meyer drank some in Victory Lane because his mother said it would refresh him on a hot day, according to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.What is the most famous Indy car race? ›
- The Indianapolis 500 is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5-mile (4 km) oval circuit. ...
- The race is the most prestigious event of the IndyCar calendar, and one of the oldest and most important automobile races.
British IndyCar driver Katherine Legge will be the sole female competitor at Sunday's 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 and said auto racing is the only sport where men and women are on equal terms.Do celebrities go to the Indy 500? ›
Stars from around the world bumped shoulders with fans inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. INDIANAPOLIS — It's that time of year again — the Indianapolis 500 is in full swing, and celebrities have taken to the red carpet! Some big names are in Indy to get a glimpse at who will take home the Borg-Warner Trophy.Will the Indy 500 be blacked out in 2023? ›
The 2023 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 28, and local fans hoping to see the race live on television appear to be out of luck. Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials told IndyStar's Nathan Brown that a local live TV blackout will resume.How long does it take to finish Indy 500? ›
How long does the Indy 500 last? The Indy 500 usually lasts around three hours, although this can vary depending on how many cautions are needed.Why is the Indy 500 blacked out? ›
Unlike in recent years, in which a loophole allowed local fans to watch via Peacock, the race will not be streamed in blacked-out areas. In 2020 and 2021, limited attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic led to IMS lifting the blackouts, and the Peacock option remained intact last year.Do yellow shirts at the Indy 500 get paid? ›
Many people think Yellow Shirts are all volunteers, but they are paid, seasonal employees. Being one can be fun, but it isn't always easy. Two people who know the job inside and out are Jacque and Bill Powers of Martinsville, Ind., who will retire after Sunday's Indy 500 after 32 years of service as Yellow Shirts.Do drivers get to keep the Indy 500 trophy? ›
No, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 does not get to keep the Borg-Warner Trophy, not even for a minute. It is permanently housed and displayed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. They do, however, get a miniature version of the trophy.How much money do you win for Rookie of the Year Indy 500? ›
A.J. Foyt Enterprises' Benjamin Pedersen earned Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors for his performance during the Month of May. Pedersen earned a $50,000 bonus for being named Rookie of the Year, making his total take-home prize $215,300.Do Indy 500 winners get a ring? ›
The Official Indy 500 Championship Ring
Won By Precision: Jostens is proud to partner with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the INDYCAR Series to create the INDY 500 Championship Ring.
The BorgWarner Trophy is estimated to cost around $3.5 million dollars, just a tad more than the $10,000 it was valued at back in 1935.
Ray Harroun, May 1911
Ray Harroun earned a permanent place in motorsport history by winning the first Indianapolis 500. He took home $14,250 in prize money -- not bad at a time when the average American earned less than $600 a year.
The 65th Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Sunday, May 24, 1981. The race is widely considered one of the most controversial races in Indy history. Bobby Unser took the checkered flag as the winner, with Mario Andretti finishing second.What do Indy drivers drink? ›
The following year the Rookie becomes the official Milk Person and is given the honor of handing the ice-cold bottle of milk to the winning driver of the Indy 500. The drivers are asked for their milk preferences before the race: fat-free, 2% or whole milk. Whole milk is the most popular choice by the drivers.Has anyone won the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 in the same day? ›
By tradition, the Indianapolis 500 champion will not compete in the Coca Cola 600. The feat was first attempted by John Andretti on May 29, 1994. In 2001, Tony Stewart became the first and only driver to date to successfully complete all 1,100 miles of both races in the same day.Who is the weather girl on CBS 4 Indianapolis? ›
Alyssa Andrews (@alyssaandrewswx) • Instagram photos and videos.Who is the weather girl on Channel 13 Indianapolis? ›
Lindsey Monroe (@lindseywthr) • Instagram photos and videos.Who is the Indy weather girl on Channel 8? ›
Stephanie Mead (@stephaniemeadwx) • Instagram photos and videos.Why do they drink milk after a race? ›
It's largely thanks to Louis Meyer back in the 1930s. Via Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer regularly drank buttermilk to refresh himself on a hot day and happened to drink some in Victory Lane as a matter of habit after winning the 1936 race.Why do they drink milk at the end of Indy? ›
Indy 500 drinking milk tradition
The tradition started in 1936 when Louis Meyer drank buttermilk in Victory Lane. According to a 2022 IndyStar story, Meyer drank the milk because his mother said it would refresh him on a hot day.
After Shaw died in a plane crash in 1954, the dairy industry paved the way for milk's return by offering a $400 bonus to the winner if they drank milk in Victory Lane. As such, milk has been a fixture in Victory Lane since 1956, and the delivery of milk to the winning driver is handled by the Veteran Milk Person.
IndyCar – $750,000 average (£616,000)
A former F1 star is earning the largest salary in IndyCar right now, too.
- 1,400 motorsports companies in Indiana - More than 50 Race Tracks, including Figure 8, Oval, Road Course, Drag Strip, and Kart Tracks. - The Indianapolis Region is within a one-day drive of 70% of the U.S. population. - The Indianapolis Region has the most highway convergence in the United States.Are IndyCars faster than F1? ›
It is, and no one will argue that, overall, F1 cars are much faster than IndyCars around a road or street circuit. But lap time isn't everything; overall, the racing is closer and more competitive in IndyCar than it is in F1.Who is the oldest driver in the Indy 500 this year? ›
Indy 500 2023 drivers' ages
The youngest driver is David Malukas (21). Sting Ray Robb and Christian Lundgaard are also 21. The oldest driver is Tony Kanaan (48), and Helio Castroneves is also 48.
Ribbs. William Theodore Ribbs Jr. (born January 3, 1955) is a retired American race car driver, racing owner, and sport shooter known for being the first African-American man to have tested a Formula One car (he did so in 1986) and to compete in the Indianapolis 500 (tested in 1985, raced in 1991 and 1993).What actress is married to an IndyCar driver? ›
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American actress Ashley Judd and her Scottish race car driver husband Dario Franchitti are ending their marriage after 11 years. The movie star, 44, and the Indianapolis 500 race car driver, 39, married in 2001 and have no children.What is the dress code for the Indy 500? ›
While there is no official dress code for the Indy 500 suites, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) states that “admittance will be denied if clothing is considered offensive, disruptive, or unsuitable for any reason.” Long pants and closed-toe shoes are recommended by IMS.Who is waving the flag at Indy 500? ›
Indiana native Adam Driver waves the green flag to signal the start of the 107th Running of the Indy 500.Who are the favorites at Indy? ›
Legge is a massive longshot at +30000, while Pato O'Ward is the +500 favorite in the 2023 Indianapolis 500 odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Alex Palou is +575, Scott Dixon is +700 and Alexander Rossi is +900, while Rinus VeeKay rounds out the top five 2023 Indianapolis 500 contenders at +1000.Does the Indy 500 sell out? ›
In 2021, the track capped attendance at 135,000 with an official crowd of 134,670. >> In 2022, Boles said in mid-May that IMS had already sold 90% of its grandstand tickets (of which there are roughly 232,000), and by race day, he said this week that only 12,000 remained unsold by the green flag.
All current IndyCar transmissions use pneumatic actuation for the shifting and clutch, so the clutch is therefore only needed for launching the car from a standstill, and the clutch isn't required for gear shifting.What engine is IndyCar using in 2023? ›
The 2023 season was scheduled to be the final season using the current 2.2-liter V6 twin-turbocharged engine formula that made its debut in the 2012 season. A new 2.4-liter V6 twin-turbocharged hybrid engine formula was meant to debut in the series from 2024 onwards.What should I bring to the Indy 500? ›
Bags and coolers are allowed in for the race, so pack those snacks and drinks that aren't in glass containers. There is a size limit though, so make sure it doesn't exceed 18”x14”x15”. Coolers can be hard or soft-sided. You can also bring in a camelback, if you'd rather tote your beverage of choice on your back.How early should I get to Indy 500? ›
More than 30,000 people attend the race every year, so make sure you arrive early enough to not get stuck in traffic or lines! Gates open at 6 a.m., so we encourage you to get there by 7:30 or 8 a.m. at the latest.What was the worst year for the Indy 500? ›
Owing to the tragic circumstances, relentless weather problems, rain-shortened finish, and overall glum mood during the month, the 1973 race is widely considered the worst year for the running of the Indianapolis 500.Does Indy 500 have push to pass? ›
Some of us might not recall, however, that IndyCar implemented a driver control intended to increase on-track overtakes two years earlier. First introduced in 2009, IndyCar's push-to-pass system allows a driver, after two laps of green flag racing, to apply a roughly 60 horsepower boost to their engine's power output.What stopped the Indy 500? ›
INDIANAPOLIS – There were a record three red flags in the final 15 laps of the 107th Indy 500, including the initial stoppage after a terrifying crash that sent a tire over the Turn 2 catchfence.Why was the Indy 500 red flagged? ›
The 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 was red-flagged after a massive crash involving Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood that sent a tire flying over the Turn 2 fence.Has anyone won back to back Indy 500? ›
Foyt, Rick Mears, and Al Unser for the career record. Castroneves is also the last driver to repeat as champ, winning the race in 2001 and 2002. Four other drivers have won the race in consecutive years, including Wilbur Shaw (1939-40), Mauri Rose (1947-48), Bill Vukovich (1953-54), and Al Unser (1970-71).Did Toyota win Indy 500? ›
As of 2020, the 2003 race was the first and only Indy 500 victory for Toyota.
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Date||May 30, 1924|
|Winner||Lora Lawrence Corum & Joe Boyer (co-winners)|
The youngest winner of the Indy 500 is Troy Ruttman. He picked up the victory way back in 1952. Ruttman was 22 years and 80 days old. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Al Unser is the oldest race winner and was 47 years and 360 days old when he won the race in 1987.What engine has won the most Indy 500? ›
|Most wins (driver)||A. J. Foyt (4) Al Unser (4) Rick Mears (4) Hélio Castroneves (4)|
|Most wins (team)||Penske (19)|
|Most wins (manufacturer)||Chassis: Dallara (22) Engine: Offenhauser (27) Tires: Firestone (81)|
Multiple sources have told RACER that while Toyota has not said no to joining the NTT IndyCar Series in the future, it's not prepared to move forward with an engine program in the coming years.Who was the first death at the Indy 500? ›
Sam Dickson was the riding mechanic for Arthur Greiner and the first person killed during the Indianapolis 500. On lap twelve, one of the front wheels came off the American Simplex Greiner was driving, causing him to lose control and both men to be thrown from the car.Who is the oldest Indy 500? ›
The 1911 International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 30, 1911. It was the inaugural running of the Indianapolis 500, which is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world.Who was first car out in Indy 500? ›
On May 30, 1911, Ray Harroun drives his single-seater Marmon Wasp to victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500, now one of the world's most famous motor racing competitions.