COYNE - Ferrucci Top Rookie With 7th At Indy
Ferrucci Top Finishing Rookie in Indianapolis 500 with Seventh Place
- Davison places 12th despite pit lane incident -
Indianapolis, IN (May 26, 2019) – The Dale Coyne Racing team had quite the day at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Santino Ferrucci made the largest number of passes of all the drivers, led a lap and moved up the field to place seventh as the best finishing rookie while James Davison salvaged a 12th place finish after an incident in pit lane sent him to the back of the field. The race reports for both drivers are below.
7th – Santino Ferrucci - #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing
Rookie Ferrucci made a strong impression during his oval debut at the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The driver of the #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing car moved up from his 23rd spot on the starting grid to finish seventh, making the most passes of any driver on track with 30, led his first NTT IndyCar Series lap and picked up his best IndyCar career finish along the way. Ferrucci steadily moved up the field as the race progressed. By lap 50 he sat in 15th place and had moved into the top 10 by the halfway mark. The rookie was then able to rebound from an untimely yellow that came out right when the driver was about to head to pit lane on Lap 137. Despite having to delay his pit stop and fall further back in the field, Ferrucci managed to make his way back up and was sitting ninth when a Red Flag came out with 20 laps to go. Following the final restart, the Dale Coyne Racing driver was sitting in seventh and while he lost one position with 12 laps remaining, he was able to make one final pass and cross the finish line in seventh. Ferrucci now leads the NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year standings with 129 points and sits 10th in the Series Championship standings.
“This is my introduction to oval racing and I’m happy. There was one stint where I was so scared, I was racing around, and the car was just moving around. Then, I just put my visor down after the red flag and gave it my all and to finish seventh, in the top ten was all I cared about. I surpassed all of my expectations. Our #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing crew did solid stops, amazing engineering. It was a huge team effort. I couldn’t have done it without my spotters Pancho and Dane Carter. We passed nearly all the cars out there. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it without them telling me how to do it. I appreciate that a lot. I had a moment when I had to go through the lawn to avoid an incident in front of me, but it was the safest way out, fortunately it paid off. I’ve never experienced or witnessed anything like this race. It’s amazing for the fans but also for the competitors.”
12th – James Davison - #33 Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd/Belardi
The # 33 Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd/Belardi team had a great Indianapolis 500 run with driver James Davison. During the opening stint, Davison was able to make his way up from his original starting position of 15th into ninth place. When the first round of pit stops began on lap 35, Davison was dealing with a pit lane speed limiter issue, causing him to have to guess his speed. Unfortunately for Davison, contact with Helio Castroneves sent him spinning into the 33 team’s pit box and it ultimately put him two laps down by the time he returned to the track. Davison was able to recover both laps thanks in part to some well-timed cautions and great strategy from engineer Rob Ridgely. Throughout the day restarts were Davison’s strength and he came through on the final restart, gaining five positions, moving up from 17th into 12th where he would wind up finishing the race.
“What an epic Indy 500 for the 33 team. Certainly, the starts and restarts gave us positions today. It was fantastic to move up to ninth in the first stint and run there solidly. When we pit, the pit lane cruise wasn’t working, so I had to do it NASCAR style by just looking at the rpm. As a result, I wasn’t running exactly 60 mph and Castroneves pulled out to pass me as I was going into the box and it just ended up being a really unfortunate situation. Nobody’s fault. From there we recovered from two laps down to get a fantastic final restart and finish 12th. That was just the best that we could hope for today after what happened. I’m just really proud of this Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd/Belardi, Rokit, Cruz team. They gave me my best Indy 500 experience and I just absolutely loved it.”
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.