Mixed Fortunes For Dale Coyne Racing at 2019 INDY 500
- Santino Ferrucci finishes 7th, crowned Indy 500 Rookie Of The Year
- Davison places 12th despite pit lane incident
- Bourdais eliminated in collision
It was a solid day of racing for the ENEOS-sponsored Dale Coyne Racing team at the 2019 Indianapolis 500. Santino Ferrucci, who’s shy of turning 21, made the largest number of passes, led for a lap and placed seventh as the best finishing rookie. This performance was enough to confirm him as the event’s Rookie of the Year and pushed him into the lead of the NTT IndyCar Series 2019 ROTY standings.
While it was all smiles for Ferrucci, his teammate James Davison managed to finish in 12th place after a pit lane incident moved him to the back of the field. During an early pit stop, Davison’s car was tagged by Helio Castroneves as he slowed for his pit box.
With only 20 laps to go, DCR driver Sebastien Bourdais collided with Graham Rahal, causing both drivers to spin out. With other drivers caught up in the ensuing confusion, the race was red flagged to allow the track officials to clear the debris.
“I didn’t think he had as much of the car as he did,” Bourdais said in an interview with NBC. “It’s always a dynamic thing. He got a run, it stalled there for a while, we made contact, and it sets up the whole thing. At that point. I’m just trying to collect the whole thing. It’s always easy to say I should have given up going into the corner.”
Ferrucci, driving the #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing car made his oval racing debut at the Indy 500. He started in 23rd place but moved steadily through the field, finding himself in the top 10 by the halfway mark. After a pit stop delay on Lap 137, Ferrucci maneuvered his way back up and sat on ninth until a red flag was waved with 20 laps remaining. As the driver came across the scene of the collision, he relied on his crew to help get him through and avoid any incidents. After threading the needle he crossed the finish line in seventh once the race was restarted.
“This is my introduction to oval racing and I’m happy,” Ferrucci said. “Our #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing crew did solid stops, amazing engineering. It was a huge team effort. I’ve never experienced or witnessed anything like this race. It’s amazing for the fans but also for the competitors.”
Ferrucci leads the NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year standings with 129 points and is 10th in the overall Series Championship standings.
James Davison in the #33 Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd/Belardi also had a great Indy 500 finish. Starting in fifteenth place during the opening stint, he quickly moved to ninth, but on Lap 35, experienced a pit lane speed limiter issue. Unfortunately, he made contact with another driver, sending him spinning into a competing team’s pit box.
The incident slowed him for two laps but Davison recovered both laps quickly and used the day’s restarts to his advantage, gaining five positions on the final restart to finish in 12th place.
“The starts and restarts gave us positions today. [Finishing 12th] was the best that we could hope for after a really unfortunate situation with Helio Castroneves. I’m really proud of this team; they gave me my best Indy 500 experience and I absolutely loved it,” Davison said.
The next round of the NTT IndyCar Series is the Chevrolet Detroit GP on June 1-2.