NTT IndyCar Series points leader Josef Newgarden was none too pleased with Santino Ferrucci following his spin on the final corner of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

The American pair found themselves next to each other when the final caution flew on Lap 192 for a crash by Ferrucci's Dale Coyne Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais. The IndyCar rookie had led a race-high 97 laps leading up to the late yellow.

They lined up fourth and sixth for the restart with Alexander Rossi sandwiched between them. Ferrucci restarted sixth and quickly overhauled Rossi, who eventually had pitted for a late splash-and-go. The former Haas F1 test driver took fourth from Newgarden with 13 laps remaining only to give it up on Lap 241 after losing pace when trying to pass Ed Carpenter for third on Lap 241.

The tit-for-tat continued with Ferrucci seizing the position back on Lap 246 before setting his sights on third place Tony Kanaan. He lost momentum after a wild moment on the final lap and collected his car on the racing line just as Newgarden caught up.

That caused the Team Penske driver to spin and lose two spots to teammate Simon Pagenaud and Conor Daly.

The NTT IndyCar Series points leader deemed the move "dangerous" in a post-race interview with NBC Sports' Kevin Lee.

"Look, it's important to know he's a rookie," he said. "What he did, in my opinion, is dangerous.

"He came over to talk to me afterwards and said he was loose, that's why he was down there, but I've been in the same position tonight, I know what it's like to get up in the marbles. He got up there a couple of times.

"He came directly back down on the racing line to try and block at the end, and there was no reason to.

"I gave him the [fourth] position twice because I was suffering tyre vibrations all night and my car was getting quite difficult to drive at the end of that stint. So I let him go two times during the night.

"But he's got to learn that this is big-time auto-racing; if you do a move like that on an oval, particularly a high-speed oval, you will cause a very serious wreck.

"And he's just gotta know that. I really drilled into him that you cannot come directly to the racing line. That was his instinct - to come right back to the racing line.

"You know, he's a racer, you're gonna have instincts like that, but you cannot do that in oval racing. It's absolutely not OK.

"It's a lesson. I hope he learns that and he gets that in his head."

Ferrucci apologized but iterated on Twitter today stating that he is not going to back down.

The Woodbury, Connecticut native moved to ninth in points with the fourth-place finish in the 248-lap race. That also gave him a scant two-point lead in the rookie of the year championship over Chip Ganassi Racing's Felix Rosenqvist.

Comments

Loading Comments...