USF Juniors Series Releases Schedule

USF Juniors, the newest series on the Road to Indy unveiled a 16 race schedule today. The races will take place at six venues. Four sites will feature three races. The series will not race on any ovals.

The races at Barber Motorsports Park are the only one sat a track on the same weekend that Indycar is there.

USF Juniors is the first step on the Road to Indy. It is designed to give young drivers more opportunities to learn at a much lower cost than USF2000.

Chris Griffis Memorial Test Complete; Indycar Tests on Tap for Tomorrow

The annual Chris Griffis Memorial test completed a successful return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon. Each series on the Road to Indy had six 45 minute sessions, three yesterday and three today.

In USF2000 Jagger Jones, grandson of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, had the fastest time on Saturday and led two sessions today. I think it is exciting to see another third generation driver from a famous family take to the speedway. Other session leaders were Max Clark, Simon Sikes, and Thomas Nepveu.

In Indy Pro 2000, Reece Gold led today’s final two session, and louis Foster led the first Sunday session. Foster led two sessions on Saturday. Jack William Miller also led a round Saturday.

Indy Lights Begins a New Era

Indy Lights had its first sessions under Indycar control. The NTT Indycar Series took control of Indy lights last month. The six test rounds were competitive, with five different drivers leading sessions.

Benjamin Pedersen led Practices 2 and 3 Saturday. Jacob Abel topped Round 1. In Sunday’s test sessions the leaders were Rasmus Lindh, Hunter McElrea, and Kyffin Simpson.

Indy Lights expects fields of at least 15 cars in the 2022 season. The schedule may be out this coming week.

Indycar Tests and Robin Miller Blood Drive

2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas, and Linus Lundqvist will be testing Indycars at IMS tomorrow from 10 am until 2 pm Eastern.

While the cars are on track, the IMS Museum will host a blood drive in honor of the late Robin Miller. You can donate blood and watch race cars in one trip. Everyone wins.

This coming week we will look at the status of the 2022 Indycar grid, new engine testing.

Chris Griffis Memorial Test Entry Lists

Entry lists for each category participating in the tomorrow’s and Sunday’s Chris Griffis memorial test at IMS.

Notes– Sting Ray Robb signed with Andretti for the 2022 season; Matt Brabham returns to Lights after several years in Stadium Super Trucks. Ernie Francis, Jr. will be one to watch as he tries his hand at open wheel. Francis, Jr. has had success at every level so far.

Notes– Indy Pro is led by Kiko Porto, the 2021 USF 2000 champion. Porto is 9 years old.

Notes– Jagger Jones is the son of P. J. Jones and grandson of Parnelli Jones

Indy Lights will announce its schedule soon. I’m hearing that the series will run the ovals at Iowa and Gateway. Indy Lights will run just three double headers on select road courses. The season will be 14 races.

On Monday, November 1, Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas, and Linus Lundqvist will test an Indycar at IMS as a bonus for placing in the top three in Indy Lights in 2021. Kirkwood will drive the 26, Lundqvist the 29, and Malukas will drive the 3 car. Don’t read anything about driver placement for 2022 into these car assignments.

I will have updates throughout the weekend.

Weather Changes Schedule for Chris Griffis Memorial Test

New from Indycar this morning:

Indy Lights, Road to Indy Drivers
To Test Saturday-Monday at IMS
Schedule Revised Due to Inclement Weather Forecast FridayAn inclement weather forecast for Friday, Oct. 29 has forced the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Combine test to be moved to Monday, Nov. 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test remains scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31 on the road course.

Indy Lights standouts Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas and Linus Lundqvist – the top three drivers in the 2021 series standings, respectively – will test in NTT INDYCAR SERIES machinery from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (ET) Monday. The Combine test evaluating these NTT INDYCAR SERIES prospects is a reward for finishing in the top three positions in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in the 2021 season. Kirkwood will drive the Andretti Autosport No. 26 Honda, with Lundqvist in Andretti Autosport’s No. 29 Honda. Malukas will drive the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet.

Drivers from Indy Lights and the first two rungs of the Road to Indy ladder system – Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – will test from 8 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test. The two-day Chris Griffis test provides drivers with the opportunity to sample Road to Indy machinery while building momentum for the upcoming season.

It’s named in memory of Chris Griffis, the former team manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who passed away suddenly in September 2011.

Andersen Promotions Announces USAC Sanctioning

PALMETTO, Fla. – Andersen Promotions today announced a new agreement with the United States Auto Club (USAC Racing) to become the sanctioning body for the three racing series owned and operated by the organization – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires as well as the new USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires.

Both USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 are key steps on the highly visible Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, a scholarship-supported driver development platform to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis 500. The recently announced USF Juniors is a pre-step to the ladder system offering its champion a scholarship package to enter USF2000.

USAC Racing has enjoyed a storied history since being formed in 1956 as a sanctioning body for the United States National Championship and the Indianapolis 500. While its portfolio is best known in the circle track arena with Silver Crown, Sprint, Midget and .25 Midget sanctioning, it now governs a diverse motorsports platform which also includes the SRO World Challenge, Porsche Sprint Challenge and the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks.

“Thirty years ago when I first announced the USF2000 series launch in 1991, USAC stepped up and was my first sanctioning body,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “We’ve come full circle and I am very pleased to be back with them and look forward to a long-term relationship. USAC Racing is widely recognized for its operation of Midgets, Sprint cars and Silver Crown cars but they are also becoming increasingly prominent in road racing with Porsche and SRO. This is a great sanctioning body and we are proud to be with them.

“I would also like to thank INDYCAR, which has sanctioned the Road to Indy since its inception in 2010. INDYCAR’s focus is, understandably, on series it owns and operates. We’ll continue to use their services on race weekends and look forward to our ongoing relationship as a support series where our drivers continue along their path toward the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”

USAC Racing sanctioning services will include licensing and membership management, which will result in cost savings for teams and drivers. Andersen Promotions will continue to contract the services of INDYCAR for Race Control, Timing & Scoring and the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team with all events on its 2022 calendar for USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

The Road to Indy will be back in action later this month with its traditional Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on October 30/31. The outing will feature all three levels of the ladder including Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, which is owned by INDYCAR and will continue to operate under its sanction.


Road to Indy Final Day Saw Title Hopes Slip Slidin’ Away

Photo: Will Kyle Kirkwood find an Indycar ride for 2022?

David Malukas slim title hopes for the Indy Lights championship got a bit more life as he won the pole for Sunday’s final race of the season at Mid Ohio. The pole was only one of three things that needed to happen for him to take the crown from Kyle Kirkwood.

At turn 1 after the start, however, it was all over as Malukas overshot the turn and was in last place by turn 4. All Kirkwood had to do was finish the race in virtually any position. Kirkwood finished fifth.

Give Malukas credit. he did not give up. He worked his way through the field on a very slippery track to finish second. Kirkwood won the title by 13 points. Malukas had one of the best Road to Indy drives i have ever seen. it was right up there with Spencer Pigot at Sonoma, who was spun out on the first lap and came from last place to finish fifth, which is where he needed to be to win the championship. Linus Lundqvist won the race, and was third in the season standings. Lujndqvist and Malukas both plan to drive in Indycar in 2022.

Kyle Kirkwood

Kyle Kirkwood is the first driver to win the title on all three levels of the Road to Indy. In a twist of irony, he accomplished that feat on the day he lost a race at Mid Ohio for the first time. Kirkwood had won seven straight open wheel races at this track.

In a normal year, we would definitely see Kirkwood in Indycar next year, but where he drives next year is uncertain. I will have more about that later this week.

USF 2000- Running Out the Clock

Going first can have its disadvantages, and the USF 2000 Series had the worst race and qualifying conditions of the day. Qualifying was abandoned after the time time period ran out. The number of slideoffs and red flags didn’t allow for the guaranteed 20 minutes of green flag running. The grid was set using Saturday’s second fastest qualifying laps.

On lap 1 Josh green got past pole sitter Michael D’Orlando in turn 4 to take the lead. Green kept the position as numerous spins caused the race to run under caution most of the time. The race ended as the time limit expired.

Kiko Porto, Banco Daycoval/Petromega, DEForce Racing, Victory Lane Championship winner

Kiko Porto, the season champion, finished third. Porto will move to Indy Pro 2000 in 2022. It’s nice to see another brazilian driver moving up the ladder.

Indy Pro 2000- Improved Conditions Lead to Best Race of the Day

The final race of the day saw bits of sunshine on a rapidly improving track. It still wasn’t perfect, but the racing was the best of the day. Three lead changes among three driver made for a good event. James Roe won the race for his first victory of the year. He edged Emaan Ahmed by 0.1412 seconds at the line.

Christian Rasmussen claimed the season title just by starting the race. he will be a force in Indy Lights next year.

Christian Rasmussen

Points Leaders On the Verge of Road to Indy Titles

One championship is over and the other two will be when the green flag begins the respective races tomorrow.

Yuven Sunaramoorthy (center) won the race, but Kiko Porto (right) won the season title. Photo from Road to Indy

Kiko Porto, 18, from Brazil, clinched the USF2000 title by finishing third in Race 1 today. Porto qualified fifth and moved t third after an early accident took out the drivers running second and third. Porto has a 45 point lead over Braden Eves, who finished fifth today.

Yuven Sundaramoothy won his fourth race of the year. He passed pole sitter Michael D’Orlando just before the yellow flag came out for the incident between Jace Denmark and Prescott Campbell . Sundaramoothy will finish third in the points.

The USF2000 race was the day’s final event, and it was the best race of the best race of the day. There was lots of passing and quite a bit side by side action in turns 5 and 6.

Christian Rasmussen’s crew cheers him on after winning. He celebrates on the podium. Photo from Road to Indy

Rasmussen Clinches Indy Pro 2000 Title with Win

Christian Rasmussen extended his narrow lead over Braden Eves by winning the Indy Pro 2000 Race 1. To officially claim the title, Rasmussen just needs to start tomorrow’s race.

Kyle Kirkwood gets his seventh checkered flag at Mid Ohio. Photo from Road to Indy

Kirkwood Keeps Mid Ohio Record Perfect

Kyle Kirkwood has never lost an open race at Mid Ohio. He started from pole today and built a six second lead over his nearest competitor, David Malukas. Kirkwood led the entire race. He has ane asy path to the championship- win the pole or if he doesn’t, just start the race.

Kirkwood’s win was his seventh straight at Mid Ohio and fourth straight in his late season run.

A Pleasant Day at the Track

Today was one of the most pleasant days I have ever spent at a race track. The weather was perfect, the races were fun to watch, and the crowd was sparse. It was nice not have to constantly rub elbows with other fans or stand in a long line for anything.

I don’t know if this how the Road to Indy plans to end their seasons from now on, but I hope this continues. After the intense grind of the Indycar season, it was refreshing for me just to watch kids race and not have much rooting interest. Kirkwood was the only driver I was cheering for.

The day was also a good way to get a look at who might be some future stars of Indycar.

Weather May Be a Factor in Road to Indy Championships

The Road to Indy championship rounds begin this morning with qualifying, followed by the first races this afternoon.

Today at Mid Ohio the temperature should be 78 degrees, mostly cloudy, with only a 15% chance of rain. Tomorrow, however, calls for a high of 73 degrees and a 72% chance of rain.

The forecast could make for some intense racing today since tomorrow’s conditions could be less than optimal.

Today’s schedule:

7:30 AM – 5:00 PM TECH OPEN – USF2000 & INDY PRO 2000 (CLOSED FROM 12:30 PM -1:30 PM)
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM TECH OPEN – INDY LIGHTS (CLOSED FROM 11:30 AM -12:30 PM)
8:00 AM – 8:25 AM SBRS PRACTICE 2
8:40 AM – 9:10 AM USF2000 PRACTICE 1
11:05 AM – 11:30 AM SBRS QUALIFYING 1
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM USF2000 QUALIFYING 1 (20 MIN GREEN IN 30 MIN WINDOW)
1:00 PM – 1:50 PM INDY LIGHTS RACE 1
2:05 PM – 2:55 PM INDY PRO 2000 RACE 1
3:10 PM – 3:35 PM SBRS RACE 1
3:50 PM – 4:30 PM USF2000 RACE 1

The action today and tomorrow will be on Road to Indy TV.

Robin Miller Celebration

The Celebration of Life for Robin Miller today will be streamed live on at 11:45 Eastern. The live program is closed to the public. The celebration should last about 75 minutes.

Force Indy Taps Myles Rowe for Debut Season

Photo: Miles Rowe, from Indycar

Force Indy, the USF2000 team which will begin this season with assistance from Team Penske, will have 19 year old Myles Rowe as its driver. The team is one of the steps in Indycar’s Race for Equality and Change.

Previous posts

The release from Indycar:

Myles Rowe was named as Force Indy’s inaugural driver in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship during the 2021 season, starting April 15-18 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

“It’s a blessing, for sure,” Rowe said. “I didn’t expect to get started in open-wheel in this way. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m very grateful for it.”

Force Indy is a new USF2000 race team set to compete in the 2021 series. For 30 years, USF2000 has been the formative step in the ladder system, which culminates in scholarship opportunities in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. This program has grown into a proven pipeline for open-wheel racing’s future stars.

The Force Indy team looks to benefit from the tutelage of the legendary Team Penske, winners of a record 18 Indianapolis 500’s and 16 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championships, as part of the Race for Equality & Change initiative.

Rowe tested a USF2000 car in late July 2020 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of the Race for Equality & Change program.

“We vetted many deserving young men and women and chose Myles based on his ability and performance, inside and outside of the cockpit,” Force Indy Team Principal Rod Reid said. “He understands Force Indy’s mission of building a diverse team of talented individuals. He’s a great fit for the team.”

Since age 4, Atlanta native Rowe has been fascinated with all things racing. He’s a winner in the 2018 Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series. In 2016, he was awarded two “Search for the Champion” grand prize championships from the Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ iconic Champion® brand.

At age 12, Rowe won the Procup Karting Championship during his first full season of racing. He’s competed in the TAG Junior category in the Superkarts USA, World Karting Association and the United States Pro Kart Series.

“I’ve been working hard for this moment with all of the practice I’ve put in since I was 12 years old,” Rowe said. “So, when the opportunity came forth, it was a relief, honestly.”

When he’s not racing, Rowe is a junior at Pace University, studying film and screen studies.

Force Indy is a race team created specifically to develop talent with a diverse group of individuals, outside as well as inside the cockpit. The foundation of Force Indy is the racing background of Reid and a mentorship alliance with Team Penske—the most successful team in motorsports history.

The team leadership brings years of experience from grassroots racing to the Road to Indy ladder system. The organization concentrates on developing skills that promote success at the highest level. Force Indy’s vision is to see motorsports grow ethnically, educationally and across gender.