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Santino Ferrucci makes leap from IndyCar to NASCAR

Santino Ferrucci. (Image credits: ESPN)
Santino Ferrucci. (Image credits: ESPN)
Ted Fleming
Modified 10 Jan 2021, 00:59 IST

Santino Ferrucci's move to NASCAR is now official, although where he has landed is a bit of a surprise. The former NTT IndyCar Series driver will race a part-time schedule for Sam Hunt Racing - a team that has fielded a car in just 10 races over the last two seasons.

When rumors started flying that the Connecticut native was about to trade a single-seater for a stock car, it appeared that Our Motorsports would be adding a second car for him. Ferrucci has instead signed with Sam Hunt Racing.

The plan for the 22-year-old is to run more than half of the Xfinity Series schedule; however, one of those races will not be the season opener - the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona. His debut will come at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 27, the third event on the series calendar.

Ferrucci started 35 times for Dale Coyne Racing (with Vasser-Sullivan in 2020) with limited success. He failed to win a race and had a 13.5 average finish. He was hoping to stay in IndyCar for a few more years before transitioning to NASCAR. Sponsorship issues quashed those plans, and his timeline changed.

Here's what Ferrucci had to say after completing his move to Sam Hunt Racing:

“I’m incredibly proud to join Sam Hunt Racing and (Toyota Racing Development). 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.”

Is Ferrucci ready for NASCAR?

2020 NTT IndyCar Series Testing
2020 NTT IndyCar Series Testing

Ferrucci has already tested in a NASCAR Super Late Models stock car, so he does not jump in completely cold. But the learning curve could be a straight line because NASCAR could continue racing without practice or qualifying in the series.

Sam Hunt is a former K&N Pro Series East driver who started 34 times, most recently in 2019. He launched his team that same year with Colin Garrett behind the wheel at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last season, Garrett, Mason Diaz, and Brandon Gdovic split nine races.  

Published 10 Jan 2021, 00:59 IST
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