By: Tanner Watkins
January 23, 2020 | 12:00 PM
Despite some lingering speculation around Santino Ferrucci’s landing place for the 2020 season, the Connecticut-based driver is sticking with Dale Coyne Racing in the Vasser-Sullivan-affiliated No. 18 Honda.
Ferrucci, 21, moves over from the team’s No. 19 machine to fill in for the departed Sebastien Bourdais. The new group carries backing from Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan, who have opted to continue their relationship with Dale Coyne Racing after Bourdais’ absence.
“I’m extremely honored that Dale, Jimmy, and Sulli have put their faith in me to carry this program forward,” Ferrucci noted. “The SealMaster car has had a lot of success in the past two seasons. I’m eager to move into the No. 18 car and get spring training started.”
The car will maintain sponsorship from SealMaster. In 21 career starts, Ferrucci has made a name for himself as a rising star in IndyCar. He placed seventh at the 2019 Indianapolis 500 – earning Rookie of the Year honors – and finished fourth overall in the oval points standings from last season.
With Alex Palou in the team’s mix as driver for the No. 19 car (in affiliation with Team Goh), it is clear that Dale Coyne is building around Ferrucci for the future.
“We’re very happy to have Santino back with us for the 2020 season,” said Coyne. “He had a very good rookie season and he was absolutely stellar on the ovals. We look forward to him building on that this year.
“I think he surprised a lot of people in 2019 and he has the potential to do even better in his sophomore year as he now moves to the No. 18 car.”
After completing 2,037 of the possible 2,092 laps during last season (third-best in IndyCar), Ferrucci has proven he can stay in the race as a young driver. By leading 118 of those laps, he has also shown he can race competitively while driving cleanly – something that Sullivan is looking forward to in 2020.
“What a big moment for DCVS and the program as we begin our next chapter. This new crop of young fast IndyCar racers is no joke, and we’re energized to have Ferrucci leading our charge in the SealMaster machine. I expect you’ll see some big moments from us in 2020.”
Ferrucci recently made headlines for a strong run as a rookie at the Chili Bowl. With backing from BYRD Racing, Ferrucci advanced farther than the two other IndyCar drivers (James Davison and Conor Daly) at the event.
Header image by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.