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Next big name in open-wheel racing already making history

Open-wheel racing’s new American star

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s a new kid on the block, working his way up through the IndyCar ladder. The name to remember — Myles Rowe.

At 23, Rowe has already made racing history. He became the first African-American driver to win an open-wheel championship after securing the USF Pro 2000 title this year.

“It’s incredible for anybody in a minor group passionate about motorsports, passionate about anything and they might not see a person that looks like them in that avenue, it gives them hope. It gives them something to strive for,” Rowe said. “I was that kid, looking at Lewis Hamilton, Bubba Wallace growing up and wondering how am I going to do this.”

Rowe’s love for racing began while watching Formula 1 races as early as four years old. He was determined to get behind the wheel himself — starting with go-karts.

“Driving with the competitors is like a dance,” Rowe said of his love for the sport. “It’s really fun. It can be a dirty club in there and everyone’s bouncing up against each other. Everyone wants to knock each other out. Or it can be like a ballroom dance and everyone’s in a flow state. It’s super weird how it goes down on a race track.”

Rowe mastered that dance immediately.

“Won the very first race I went in, and then won the very first championship once we got our full championship in. Everything just soared ever since,” Rowe said.

Rowe got a taste of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month, getting in an IndyNXT car for an open test on the road course. He’ll be driving the No. 99 car in IndyNXT next season, but the goal is to get back to IMS, drink some milk, and kiss the bricks.

“I would love to win the Indy 500. It’s every racing driver’s dream,” Rowe said. “It’s the goal. It’s not only the goal for me. It’s the goal for Force Indy. That’s exactly why we’re here. That’s what we’re going to do. If all goes to plan, we’ll win it as well… Even when barriers aren’t broken and hurdles are up and it’s hard to get over them, if you persevere and put enough effort, strength, passion, dedication, love, you can get there.”

Maybe even all the way to a victory celebration at the Indy 500.