The news that a race car driver switching from one racing format to another is no longer a rare event. NASCAR champions Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon both came to NASCAR from IndyCar racing. And seven time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has just retired from NASCAR to begin driving in IndyCar. Danica Patrick also made the switch from IndyCar to NASCAR.
The latest driver to make the switch is IndyCar Series driver Santino Ferrucci who will be making the move to NASCAR and the Xfinity Series for the 2021 season.
With a focus on the intermediate and short tracks, Ferrucci is scheduled to make 20 race starts beginning with the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on February 27.
The young driver has never run a race in a stock car but recently completed a road test in a Super late Model car at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina.
Like many other racers, Ferrucci will be running in the Chili Bowl Nationals next week. Currently 20 current and former NASCAR drivers will be competing in the annual Midget car races in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Ferrucci spoke on his new venture via a team release saying, “I’m incredibly proud to join Sam Hunt Racing. 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.”.
He continued, “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.”
Ferrucci continued with, “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!”
Ferrucci has spent three seasons with IndyCar, making 35 race starts and winning Rookie of the Year honours at the 2019 Indianapolis 500.
Prior to racing in IndyCar, the Connecticut native spent time in Europe as one of the development drivers for Haas Formula 1.
Team owner Sam Hunt spoke on his newest driver saying, “Santino’s passion and drive was apparent the first time we sat down together. 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.
Hunt continued, “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.”
feature photo credit: Santino Ferrucci’s Facebook page