New IndyCar feud between Andretti duo and ‘headcase’ Ferrucci

A new rivalry has emerged in IndyCar after Santino Ferrucci pushed Kyle Kirkwood into the pits following an on-track incident in Detroit, prompting Kirkwood to describe the on-track contact as “stupid” and “dangerous”.

The new Detroit street track hosts the second IndyCar race, and with a lap time of just over a minute, drivers can often pile up and face traffic — especially in final practice before qualifying when everyone is looking for the perfect conditions for one clean lap.

In the broadcast incident, Kirkwood, with teammate Colton Herta up front, was pulling back at Turn 5 to get clean air for a lap, when Ferrucci dove to the inside and appeared to push Kirkwood into the wall after the Andretti driver attempted to get back in.

Ferrucci then also passed Herta just before entering Turn 6, almost hitting the wall on the right-hand side in the process.

“he [Ferrucci] “He said he was upset with you because he said you made the first move two corners ago,” NBC's Dave Burns asked Kirkwood, referring to a possible unseen inciting incident.

“Of course he would say that,” Kirkwood replied.

“Everyone stops here, everyone has to wait, get the gap, get a clean lap. It's training, relax. And that's not what he did. He decided to do it to me, and then he did it to Colton as well. They almost collided.

“I don't know what he's doing. His brood has already been destroyed. He's ruined his next one too.”

“He's just stupid, it's dangerous, he rammed his car straight into me, trying to push me into the wall on purpose.

“Then I went up and tried to talk to him about it, and then he grabbed me and shook me. He's like, why are you mad at me? It's crazy, but we've seen it with him before, so…”

Kirkwood was known for the occasional sarcastic admiration outside the cockpit during his IndyCar career, and responded to video of the altercation on Twitter with adorable emojis.

Herta was also interviewed after training by NBC and had some choice words for Ferrucci.

He said: “I don't even know what I did, I don't know, this guy is a hoodie.

“I'm not really sure what I did to make him angry.

“He passed me before the alternative line, we are all waiting for our gaps and he passed me, so I passed him and spoiled his hug.

“He can do what he wants, we'll do what we have to do. He's driving Penske to like the P20 for the fifth weekend in a row. So, I'm happy with what we're doing here.

“We don't have time for him and his followers in the back.”

Herta was referring to Foyt's technical alliance with Penske in his “P20” comments.

The ensuing scramble between Kirkwood and Ferrucci was a far cry from Ricky Stenhouse and Kyle Busch's fight after the All-Star race at North Wilkesboro, which highlighted the driver's aggressiveness and the series' responses to him — especially with NASCAR effectively using footage of the fight as promotion but then levying a fine. On Stenhouse.

Asked what he wanted to say to Ferrucci when he approached Foyt's driver, Kirkwood said: “I was going to tell him it was completely unnecessary.

“Everyone needs to get their gaps, everyone needs to get a lap so you can try to adjust your car, but if you're hitting people on purpose, you can't adjust your car.

“thus [going over to talk to Ferrucci] It was just a matter of seeing where his head was, because he clearly wasn't on a fast lap anyway. This makes no sense to me at all.”

Kirkwood saved his sarcasm for last, responding to a question about whether he was concerned that Santino might compete with him tomorrow by saying, “I think based on that, he'll be a little bit behind us, so I'm not too worried.”

Ferrucci responds

Ferrucci said it was a “ridiculous” move on Kirkwood's part.

“We're in practice, I'm on the lap that will put us third, I know everyone's fighting traffic, I'm coming up the hill, and who turns into someone and pushes the car toward you?” He said.

“It's a stupid move, man. I grew up with him in karting, I've known him for a long time, and I've always been better with him in car racing, so yeah, I've never seen him do anything that stupid before.

“But you saw him converted to [Josef] Newgarden yesterday. it's a shame. It's a tight track, we're a lot quicker than that and it was good to get one quick lap. So, it's okay, that's what it is.”

Ferrucci then said Herta “did the same thing”, while offensively describing him as “Kirkwood's little friend and teammate”.

“So, yeah, leave it to them, we're out here doing our own thing, it's Detroit, I'm having a blast, the crew's all hot, we know we've got a hot rod.”

IndyCar said “no action will be taken” when asked if any penalty would be imposed on the drivers involved in the crash, but added that comments after the hearing were under review.

Ferrucci was in the spotlight again in qualifying when he was accused of tripping Romain Grosjean. An angry Grosjean flew out of his car after his session and went straight to Ferrucci team owner Larry Foyt, launching into an expletive-laden tirade about Ferrucci.

Grosjean and Ferrucci have combined together several times this season.


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