MILLVILLE, N.J. — Myles Rowe, a driver for the Force Indy Racing team, is a winner in the USF2000 series.
Rowe was able to pick his fellow drivers off and make a stunning pass for the lead in the closing laps of a race at New Jersey Motorsports Park to claim his first-ever win and the first win for Force Indy in the second of a series of races in New Jersey.
“As I was coming to the finish, I had to radio my spotter (Jon Bouslog) and ask him, ‘Are we in the lead?’” Rowe said. “He told me, ‘Keep going, keep going!’ I knew I was in second, but looking at my first win, I just didn’t believe it.”
Rowe’s closing lap pass was on the USF2000 championship leader Kiko Porto, who finished second.
The significance of the win goes beyond that of the stable of Force Indy. The win marks the first time ever an African-American driver has won an IndyCar sanctioned race and is a win for IndyCar’s Race for Equality & Change diversity initiative introduced in July 2020.
“I can’t thank my parents so much for all the love, support, and patience,” Rowe said. “Rod Reid, Jon (Bouslog), the whole team, Stu (Kelly), Derrick (Morris), Zach (Griggs) – I can’t thank them all enough. And of course, Roger Penske and Will Power. So many people who put me where I am, where Force Indy is today.”
“Until you actually win one of these, you don’t know what you’re going to feel,” said Force Indy team principal Rod Reid. “For us, the early part of that battle was reminiscent of St. Pete, when we were in fourth and going for third until we made a mistake. I was right there in Turn 8 and saw him battling for third and then for the lead, and I thought: ‘Can we do this? Is this real?’”
Rowe is the third African-American driver ever to compete in IndyCar sanctioned races, joining the likes of Willy T. Ribbs and George Mack. Ribbs and Mack both raced full-time seasons in IndyCar’s top series. Ribbs’ only full-time season was in CART in 1994 with Walker Motorsports. Mack ran full-time in the Indy Racing League for 310 Racing in 2002. Neither driver ever won a race in IndyCar sanctioned competition.
USF2000 is a lower series sanctioned by IndyCar as part of the Road To Indy program.