Ferrucci rebounds from Indy shunt, aims for a Fast Nine slot

Santino Ferrucci has rebounded from his Day 3 crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is aiming for a spot in Sunday's Indy 500 shootout for pole.

Ferrucci rebounds from Indy shunt, aims for a Fast Nine slot

Ferrucci suffered a 225mph shunt at Turn 2 on Thursday, bad enough to send him to hospital, return to the track with a limp and a knee brace.

It left his mechanics and teammates Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal to work through much of the night and wee small hours of the morning to get the #45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda prepared for Fast Friday.

Ferrucci made a successful return to the track and by the end of Fast Friday’s six-hour session, he had set the eighth quickest average speed over four laps – 230.364mph – as all teams spent the day simulating Indy’s unique qualifying format.

Santino Ferrucci, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Santino Ferrucci, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

He now believes it’s feasible to finish today's qualifying session in the top nine, allowing him to progress to Sunday’s Fast Nine shootout for pole.

“I had a lot of confidence in the guys,” said Ferrucci.

“They’ve been here since 5:30 this morning, turning and burning, and they gave me the confidence to come back out and go flat in our first run and go back out and put the car in the top 10 and have some of the fastest four lap averages.

“I can't argue with that; our Hy-Vee Honda has been on fire today. I'm thinking that we are going for the top nine tomorrow so we’ve still got a lot of work to do. I'm proud of these guys.

"We’re going to button some things up that we didn't have a chance to last night and keep massaging this girl until she's fast.

“I'm just a racer and I just want to go fast and today's the best day to go do that. We just keep pushing each other, the team keeps working hard, I want to keep working hard for the team and I'm just proud that the Hy-Vee car is fast. I'm happy to see them up in high spirits, especially after everything that's happened.

"Normally it brings a team down but for us it brought us closer together and lifted us up. I'm alright now, I don't feel [pain] at all, it's all that adrenaline. A lot of people came over and helped out and made sure that I'm comfortable, especially the doctors.

“A huge thank you to the AMR Safety team – they are without a doubt the best in the business.  Just the fact that they spent all the time with me going over to Methodist [Hospital] and coming back and doing some work on my leg this morning making sure it’s all bandaged up and ready to go.”

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There will be a practice session from 9am-10am today and then 4-lap qualifying will begin at 12 noon. 

After all 35 entrants have made their first runs, cars can make unlimited runs thereafter until the gun goes off at 5.50pm.

At that point, grid positions 10 through 30 will be locked in place. The top nine will progress to the Fast Nine shootout – just one 4-lap run per car – on Sunday morning.

The bottom five will be consigned to the Last Chance Qualifying shootout for the three slots on the last row of the grid.

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