It was announced today that 2019 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and fourth place 2020 Indy 500 finisher Santino Ferrucci will join Sam Hunt Racing and Toyota Racing Development to begin his transition from open wheel to NASCAR in the Xfinity Series. Ferrucci, 22, a former Haas F1 Team test driver and IndyCar competitor, will make his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway Feb. 27 and will run the limited schedule focusing on mile and a half tracks.
Although a proven road racer, the team’s plan is to focus Ferrucci’s development on oval track racing in 2021, in an effort to develop race craft needed in the majority of NASCAR events. Ferrucci has yet to race a stock car of any kind, having just limited testing in a Super Late Model with FURY Race Cars at the end of 2020.
"Santino’s passion and drive was apparent the first time we sat down together," Sam Hunt, team owner of Sam Hunt Racing said. "I had heard about him, seen some stories from open wheel, but waited to form my opinion until we spent some time together one on one. He’s a great kid. He’s passionate, and he’s ready to learn the race craft of NASCAR. He’s situationally aware and works hard for every sponsor and investor he has. I have no doubts that he will be a strong competitor for us once he learns how these heavy cars drive, and how these races run. We are all excited to get to work with him."
The transition from open wheel to NASCAR will be no easy task, as Ferrucci will take the wheel of a Xfinity car for the first time ever with no practice. The challenge of transition, however, does not scare Ferrucci – who will make his first ever stock car lap when the green flag falls in Homestead. The 22-year-old is eager to start his NASCAR career and his working relationship with Sam Hunt Racing and Toyota Racing Development.
"I’m incredibly proud to join Sam Hunt racing and TRD," Ferrucci said. "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. The transition to NASCAR will be tough especially with no practice, qualifying, or testing but I welcome the challenge. My limited experience before the green flag in Miami will be the Chili Bowl and my Super Late Model test. So far everyone at NASCAR and the people that make up the NASCAR community have been very welcoming to me, the testing that I’ve done has gone really well, and I am excited to start racing!"
— Sam Hunt Racing —