A.J. Foyt Racing finds itself in the midst of newfound interest for its pair of NTT IndyCar Series entries.
Thanks to its recent technical union forged with Team Penske, Foyt’s Chevy-powered cars have been the subject of frequent inquiries from all manner of drivers, and starting with the No. 14 entry piloted to third last season at the Indianapolis 500 and 19th in the drivers’ standings by Santino Ferrucci, team director Larry Foyt says he’s keen to maintain continuity.
“It’s been a weird silly season where there seems to be more drivers out there than spaces for them,” Foyt told RACER. “I’ve had phone calls and talked to some people, for sure, but I’ve been working with Santino, getting his stuff sorted out. We certainly want to continue with Santino, and I think there’s a pretty good comfort level there.
“That’s why there probably hasn’t been a lot of crazy talk about [the 14 car]. We’re just trying to make sure with the planning, and a lot of the expenses going up next year [with hybrid engines], that I get my funding in a row before I make promises. Going into this hybrid unit, [I’m] just trying to make sure that that we are able to operate at the level we want to operate at. So that’s all that is, but we have a really good relationship and so I’m not too worried about where we’re at with Santino.”
Provided the Foyt team secures a full budget for the No. 14 Chevy, the 25-year-old from Connecticut would be expected to remain in the car, but if there’s a shortfall in funding, a rideshare scenario with Ferrucci handling the ovals and another driver taking the car on road and street courses is a Plan B.
“It’s something that’s there as an option if we have to, but we’re doing everything we can so we don’t have to think about it,” Foyt added. “The goal with Santino is to be full-time, so that’s where our head is at.”
While there’s plenty of clarity on where the Foyts are going with the No. 14 car, the future of the No. 55 Chevy driven last season by rookie Benjamin Pedersen is the subject of ongoing speculation. Among the rumored issues, funding for the car is said to be less than solid.
Announced as a three-year deal starting in 2023, it’s unclear if Pedersen will return to the No. 55. Whether it was problems with the car or mistakes while driving, there were few positives to find in the first year of the association, and as such, Foyt declined to comment on any aspects of the relationship.
The Danish-American’s adversity-filled IndyCar debut left Pedersen 27th in the standings and last among those who completed all 17 races. If Pedersen stays in the No. 55, he’ll have a chance to improve on a rookie campaign that netted a best finish of 15th, and if he moves on, look for a well-funded driver to fill the seat.