MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Santino Ferrucci made a positive impression in his first Indianapolis 500 in 2019.
That positive impact helped bring him back to the 105th Indianapolis 500, this time with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda entry.
Hy-Vee, an employee-owned supermarket chain that operates more than 275 retail stores across eight Midwestern states, will be the primary sponsor of Ferrucci’s No. 45 entry for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.
Ferrucci is currently driving a part-time schedule for Sam Hunt Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The past two seasons, he was a full-time NTT IndyCar Series driver for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan.
“I am excited to be competing in the Indianapolis 500 with Hy-Vee and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Ferrucci said. “It’s a great opportunity and I cannot thank the team, owners and partners enough for believing in me. I’m super excited to start spending some time at the shop in Indianapolis and preparing for an incredible run this May.”
After two full IndyCar Series seasons in 2019-’20 and a partial one in 2018, Ferrucci will join RLL for the Indy 500, where he has been a contender for victory.
Ferrucci was named the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2019 after a seventh-place finish, and he finished fourth last year to race winner Takuma Sato and third place finisher Graham Rahal, who now become his teammates for this year’s 500.
To date, Ferrucci’s best Indy car start is second place at Mid-Ohio race two in 2020 – he’s finished fourth a combined four times.
Ferrucci will join Rahal and Sato at an open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, April 8-9.
Hy-Vee will also serve as the primary sponsor of Rahal’s NTT IndyCar Series entry at Road America on June 20 and World Wide Technology Raceway on Aug. 21, as well as a full-season associate sponsor on Rahal’s car.
“It is great to have Hy-Vee as a partner of our program again,” team owner Bobby Rahal said. “My family and I live in the Midwest and it’s exciting to see Hy-Vee continue to grow. The sense of pride their employees have in their company and what Hy-Vee does to support their local communities is inspiring and something that we work to emulate every day within our team.
“We look forward to creating special moments for Hy-Vee customers and employees this season, while promoting the Hy-Vee brand on a national stage.”
Hy-Vee first joined the team as the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s entry for race two at Iowa Speedway in 2020, where he finished third.
The company was also the primary sponsor of the team’s entry for Spencer Pigot at the Indy 500 and an associate sponsor of Rahal’s entry for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
“It’s great to have Hy-Vee back once again,” Graham Rahal said. “I took a lot of pride in representing them last year and felt that the Hy-Vee car performed so well at Iowa and helped get our relationship off to a good start. It’s nice to see a company with such high standards like Hy-Vee consider Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and consider the IndyCar Series as a great platform to spread awareness of their brand, the quality of their product and their stores.
“We’re excited to work with them and grow the partnership.”
The NTT IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, which will be broadcast live on NBC on April 18 at 3 p.m. ET.
RLL won the previous race at Barber Motorsports Park from the pole with Sato in 2019, and Graham Rahal brought the team its first one-two start since 2004 there, challenging for the win before retiring with a mechanical failure.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of last year’s race.