By Steve Wittich
Force Indy, a new and ground-breaking Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship team, announces that Myles Rowe will pilot the team’s No. 99 USF-17 during the upcoming 2021 season.
“We vetted many deserving young men and women and chose Myles based on his ability and performance, inside and outside of the cockpit,” said Force Indy Team Principal Rod Reid. “He understands Force Indy’s mission of building a diverse team of talented individuals. He’s a great fit for the team.”
Rowe, who first developed an interest in motorsport as a four-year-old, won an impressive five of his eight Lucas Oil Formula Car Series race starts. At 20 years of age, Rowe has tested USF2000 machinery on multiple occasions, including for the first time at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test with John Cummiskey Racing.
“It’s a blessing for sure. 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,” explained two-time Champion Spark Plugs “Search For The Champion” grand prize winner Rowe. “I’ve been working hard for this moment; with all of the practice I’ve put in since I was 12 years old. So, when the opportunity came forth it was a relief, honestly.”
Force Indy is led by principal Rod Reid, a long time motorsports participant and leader of the NXG Youth Motorsports (NXG) initiative. The first three crew members are:
- Derrick Morris, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., and NXG graduate, was most recently a mechanic for the Indianapolis Marion County Police Department.
- Fellow NXG alum Stuart Winston Kelly, an Organizational Development degree holder, who builds his own drift cars.
- Purdue University Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate Mujahid Nadeem Ali. The Montclair, New Jersey native, has been an engineer for Tesla, Fiat Chrysler, and John Deere.
The bottom rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be on track for an official test at Barber Motorsports Park on April 4-5, 2021, and the first race event will be held on the same 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course from April 15-17, 2021.
Thoughts from Steve
- It’s great to see Rowe finally get an opportunity to showcase his talent.
- I checked with a few coaches from the Lucas Oil School Of Racing, and the thoughts were unanimous. Rowe is ‘really good’ and should excel in this opportunity.
- The addition of Force Indy and Rowe to the Road To Indy grid is a big deal. First, opportunities for the Black community in racing have been lacking. Second, and much more pragmatically, the addition of the team and driver open up INDYCAR and racing to a whole new group of fans and sponsors.