Ferrucci welcomes car rally from hometown

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LONG POND, Pa. — Santino Ferrucci joined 41 family and friends for a little extra fun today at Pocono Raceway.

Before the Dale Coyne Racing driver put on his helmet for the ABC Supply 500, he hopped into a gray Honda Civic Type R car to lead a procession of 21 rally cars out onto the 2.5-mile tri-oval for some hot laps.

The NTT IndyCar Series driver, who grew up in nearby Woodbury, Conn., and considers this his home race, didn’t have any difficulty assembling enough driving buddies for a special weekend auto rally. Two per car, they were ready to roll for the rally highlight on track, which will be remembered with video and photographs.

The 21-year-old leader’s advice for the joy ride was quite simple: “Keep your foot on it.”

The rally, which raised money for Dream Ride and Hometown Foundation, also displayed 20 cars with a collective worth of more than $20 million, including a McLaren 720S, Ferrari F430, a pair of Lamborghini Gallardos, a pair of Porsche GT3s, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Audi R8, BMW 850i, Dodge Viper and a Chevrolet Corvette C7 ZR1.

“It’s nice to have family and friends like this, to come out in all sorts of cars, everything from the McLaren to the Honda Civic,” Ferrucci said. “It’s basically your whole realm of super car to everyday craziness.

“I’m happy this got put together with the help of INDYCAR and the track. It’s been awesome.”

The NTT IndyCar Series rookie started Sunday’s race from 13th, his points position. His bold driving has provided some impressive performances this season, including a best finish of fourth at Texas.

As an ambitious youngster who dreamed of one day driving in this series, Ferrucci grew up a passionate car enthusiast. One of his driving buddies this day was Bryce Atkas, who works on the design and wrapping of the No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Dale Coyne Racing Honda. They’ve shared a love of cars for about a decade.

“When your friends and family are with you and you get to go out and do something on the track, that makes it more personal,” Atkas said.

The entourage got an early start on making some personal memories with a morning drive from the Mohegan Sun racino near Wilkes-Barre to the track.

“We had a nice drive here this morning, a little spirited on the back roads,” Atkas said. “It was a good time, let’s put it that way.”

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