Long Beach, CA (April 14, 2019) – Santino Ferrucci’s race didn’t go as he would have liked aboard his #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing, Dale Coyne Racing entry on Sunday at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. The rookie had to settle for a 21st place finish after a trip into the runoff area sent him a couple of laps down to the leaders.
Ferrucci had a strong start from his 13th place on the grid and was keeping with the cars ahead of him in his opening stint. After gaining a couple of positions, Ferrucci headed to pit lane on Lap 26 for his first stop. However, upon exiting the pits with a full fuel tank, the car bottomed out on him going into Turn 1 and he ended up in the runoff area.
Having stalled the engine while trying to spin and turn the car around, Ferrucci had to wait for the AMR Safety Team to get him restarted. The time spent in the runoff area cost him two laps to the leaders, sent him into 22nd place and put an end to his hopes of a strong finish.
While Ferrucci continued on in the race and posted competitive lap times, the damage was done, and he would only climb one more position to 21st when the checkered flag came out.
“We had a clean start. Sebastien (Bourdais) seemed pretty quick so when he got close to me, I didn’t fight him,” explained Ferrucci. “I’m happy I didn’t because he passed a couple of cars and I watched and followed suit, so it was a good learning experience for me. We seemed pretty quick as well and wanted to run his strategy. But when I came out of the pits, with a heavy fuel load I just bottomed too hard coming into 1, locked the fronts and went into the runoff. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the car spun with the heavy fuel load, I spun halfway and that caught me off guard and I stalled it. There was nothing we could do from that point on but to turn it into a learning race.”
The Dale Coyne Racing team will now switch gears and prepare for their first oval test of the season as they will take part in the IndyCar Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 24 ahead of next month’s Indy 500. The next race for the Plainfield, Il based team will be the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 11, 2019.