Rookie Santino Ferrucci was having an impressive run and was on his way to a strong finish in his Verizon IndyCar Series debut when he got hit from behind through no fault of his own and sent spinning into the tire wall and out of the race on Lap 56.
After qualifying right next to his teammate Sebastien Bourdais in 18th earlier in the day, Ferrucci made steady progress during his first stint moving as high as 12th after passing his teammate on Lap 13.
Electing for a two-stop strategy in the 70-lap event, Ferrucci would find himself in 22nd place, once again ahead of Bourdais, following his pit stop on Lap 17. As his second stint went on, the rookie turned remarkable lap times despite the amount of fuel saving that he was doing.
After his second stop, the driver of the #19 Paysafe car found himself in 13th place as the field went back to green flag racing on Lap 54.
However, that would mark the end of any progress made by the young American as Charlie Kimball would run into the back of him two laps later sending him spinning and straight into the tire wall.
“The #19 Paysafe, Cly-Del Dale Coyne Racing car was absolutely amazing,” expressed Ferrucci. “We had a fantastic balance coming out of qualifying. All the engineers did a fantastic job sorting the car out for me during the race. Once I figured out how to fuel save better, we picked up massive time and we were doing a really good job. We were in great shape to get a potential top 10 finish for my first outing in the Verizon IndyCar Series, so it’s disappointing to get run over like that, but that’s racing and we’ll come back stronger tomorrow.”
Fortunately for Ferrucci, he’ll have another chance tomorrow to take his first checkered flag in the IndyCar Series when Race 2 of the weekend takes place at the Raceway at Belle Isle.
Qualifying for Race 2 will go green at 10:45am on Sunday, June 3, with the race being broadcast live on ABC from 3:30pm later that day. The race will also be broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network, including SIRIUS/XM 209/214.