IndyCar team shoots down Indy 500 pit stop rumor

Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

The A.J. Foyt Enterprises IndyCar team cleared up a picture that had been circulating from Sunday’s Indy 500, stating that it was not A.J. Foyt himself helping out on a pit stop.

Sunday’s 107th running of the Indy 500 marked a major resurgence for an A.J. Foyt Racing IndyCar team that simply had not been in the fight for the last several years. Not since 2018, when Tony Kanaan led laps in the No. 14 Chevrolet, had the team truly been a factor at the front of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.

Santino Ferrucci, who qualified in a career-high fourth place in his first Indy 500 qualifying session behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet, ultimately settled for a career-high third, giving the legendary four-time Indy 500 champion A.J. Foyt his best finish in the race as a team owner since Eliseo Salazar’s third place finish back in 2000.

Ferrucci, who led a number of laps and felt he was in position to win the race without the multiple red flags at the end, is now five for five in terms of finishing in the top 10 in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, and he has done it with four different teams.

During the Indy 500, a picture of one of Santino Ferrucci’s pit stops began to circulate among IndyCar fans on social media.

The image featured an individual pointing to a TV screen showing the No. 14 Chevrolet in its pit stall. Helping out over the wall with a tire appeared to be “Super Tex” himself. However, after Ferrucci addressed the matter in an afternoon Zoom call, A.J. Foyt Enterprises put out a statement on Wednesday shooting down this rumor.

While they acknowledged Foyt’s reputation for working on his own cars, they confirmed that the man who was pictured was really Craig Baranouski. Looking at the image, however, it’s not hard to see how there might have been confusion.

The team stated the following.

"“This is not our usual post, but this photo has been circulating with speculation that A.J. is leaning over the wall and helping with the inside front tire. That is not true. Despite A.J.’s reputation for working on his own cars, it is Craig Baranouski who’s pictured here assisting with the tire on the stop. Hope this helps clear up any confusion/rumors.”"

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The team’s other car, the No. 55 Chevrolet, was driven by rookie Benjamin Pederson, who earned Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors after he was the fastest rookie qualifier in 11th place and the top rookie finisher in 21st, even though he did not complete all 200 laps.