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Myles Rowe makes North American open-wheel racing history

Myles Rowe makes North American open-wheel racing history

PORTLAND, Ore. (WISH) — Race car driver Myles Rowe made history on Saturday in Portland.

The 23-year-old finished in third place in the second race of a USF Pro 2000 doubleheader. With that result, Rowe clinched the 2023 USF Pro 2000 championship.

He became the first African-American driver to win a North American open-wheel racing championship.

“All of these competitors are so tough,” Rowe said in a news release. “We knew after last year and finishing second in the (USF2000) championship, especially being so close to taking it, that we had to start off strong. That’s exactly what we did. We put in the work, we persevered, and we came through. It is all thanks to everyone that supports me, everyone that is out here watching and pushing me, on down to my family – my mom and my dad for putting in the blood, sweat and tears – Roger Penske and Penske Entertainment, Force Indy, Pabst Racing and Augie Pabst, Sparco, Bell Helmets, NXG and all of the crew. It wouldn’t be possible without them.

“They have really pushed me along and really given me such extraordinary support. I am just at a loss for words. It feels almost like it has been a two-year championship from trying to bounce back after last year. It took a mental strain on us all, but I am just so happy to deliver this for the team. I am thrilled that we are able to enjoy it finally.”

Rowe, who races the No. 99 car for Pabst Racing with Force Indy, has five victories this season. He currently has a 57-point lead in the championship over second-place driver Kiko Porto.

By winning the championship, Rowe will receive a “Discount Tire Driver Development Scholarship valued at $664,500 to ensure graduation to INDY NXT by Firestone in 2024,” according to USF Pro 2000.

The 2023 USF Pro 2000 season wraps up Sunday in Portland with its season finale starting at 6:15 p.m. EDT.