Friday, July 19, 2024

Rookie IndyCar driver Robb selected for 2023 race season

Episode 418

January 22, 2023

Sting Ray Robb newest IndyCar driver!

When just 5-years-old, Sting Ray Robb had a dream to race. Over the years that dream morphed to include racing IndyCars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The season opener is March 9, 2023, on the Streets of St Petersburg. All IndyCar teams will be taking part in a test/practice session at Thermal Club. Thermal, California February 2 and 3, 2023. (SR2 photo)

Last week that dream got another step closer when this information from IndyCar Communications was released:

Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing has signed 2022 INDY NXT by Firestone race winner Sting Ray Robb to drive its No. 51 Honda-powered entry for the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.

Idaho native Robb finished second in the INDY NXT by Firestone championship last year, recording 11 top-five finishes, eight podium finishes, two poles and 99 percent of laps completed in 14 races, which included his first career series victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He made his first unofficial outing with Dale Coyne Racing earlier this month during an impressive one-day test at Sebring international Raceway.

“This is an opportunity – a dream – that has been long in the making,” Robb said. “I’m honored to join forces with Dale Coyne, Rick Ware and the whole organization. I am excited and grateful to be on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES grid for 2023. We had a great first test together in early January, and I was very impressed with the efficiency of the DCR with RWR team and how well we worked together on our first day.

“Dale Coyne Racing has a historically distinguished program that has seen success with many drivers and most recently, with young, talented drivers. I’m looking forward to continuing in that trend and expecting some strong results as we enter my rookie season. My heroes are all those who have come alongside to make it possible for me to follow God’s calling in my life; and to them I say, ‘Thank you.’ All the glory goes to God.”

Robb, 21, entered INDY NXT in 2021 after four years in the Road to Indy ladder system, which included winning the 2020 USF Pro 2000 championship thanks to seven wins, five poles and 11 podium finishes.

With the addition of Robb as a teammate to David Malukas in the No. 18 HMD entry, the Dale Coyne Racing team will have the youngest driver lineup in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, with both drivers born in September 2001.

“We’re very excited to have Sting Ray join our team,” said Dale Coyne, team co-owner. “He is coming off a very strong INDY NXT season, and he impressed us and performed very well earlier this month at our test. I think he and David will make a great pairing. With David continuing where he left off last year and Sting Ray wanting to do well in his rookie season, we have two young and eager drivers who, I think, are a force to be reckoned with.”

Rick Ware Racing also shares Coyne’s views regarding the team’s new driver and potential for the 2023 season.

“Dale and I have spent a lot of the offseason testing and discussing driver options,” said Rick Ware, team co-owner. “Getting Sting Ray Robb on board to compete for the INDYCAR Rookie of the Year championship, as well as the Indy 500 Rookie of the Race honors, is pretty incredible. He’s young and already has multiple years in the INDYCAR ladder system.

“I am really looking forward to another fresh driver and personality to the No. 51 team and partnership platforms. With Sting Ray’s Road course experience, and Dale’s oval-track program, we are very optimistic.”

Robb and Malukas will join the rest of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES field at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 3-5 at St. Petersburg, Florida. Robb and Malukas also will participate in the series Open Test on Feb. 2-3 at The Thermal Club in Thermal, California.

The NTT 2023 Schedule with official website, tickets, and race information


Sting Ray Robb model update

Exploded photo of model Sting Ray Robb wooden racer after painting. This is the master model built by me to celebrate Sting Ray Robbs roots in the FFA, the student organization of agriculture education which is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. All my grandchildren are preparing their own version of the model for Sting Ray to view. Details about the models can be found in Episode 416 (HTF Motorsports photo)

With a Sting Ray Robb hero card in the background, this is the FFA throwback Sting Ray model racer, builder’s master car. (HTF Motorsports photo)

How do you learn motorsports promoting?

If you want to promote events like SnowBowl, Pro All Stars Series stock car races, and more you go to places where world class promotion takes place. Such an event occurred only 5 1/2 hours north of Caribou, Trois-Rivieres Nitro Rally Cross was held in Quebec January 20 & 21, 2023.

Attending the event were Jim Gamage, Austin Theriault, and Troy Haney. The trio got a behind the scenes look at what it takes to put a large motorsports event. Some ideas about promotion were gleaned as a result of the County men attending.

Vermont Sports cars, Milton, Vermont wrapped both team cars in the throwback livery of Ken Block when he started at VSC. (VSC photo)

Spud Speedway track owner Haney said, ” We went as race fans to see another company’s approach to developing a new style of racing. We were there to see the future of racing with electric cars and also watching the SXS racing to see how that could fit in future events here locally.”

” I actually liked the EV cars. Fast. Sound like an RC car but still have a sound. Not like the rumble and smell of a stock car but I think people will adapt to it”, noted Haney. ” It seemed to attract was a much younger crowd”.

Re-prep inside the Vermont Sports Car tent. This was Nitro RX first ice race, and they were getting a feel for the ice-spiked race tires. ” (Troy Haney photo)

At speed at Trois Riviere Nitro RX, Pastrana finished fifth despite making an error that he talks about in the quote below.

” Emotional weekend”, remarked Pastrana. “Truly appreciate all of the fans that came to Nitro Rallycross, celebrating the life of #kb43ver . So many of you were wearing memorabilia and shared stories of Ken and his positive impact on your lives. Thanks to everyone who showed up to share their appreciation for the man who put rally on the map in North America.”
“As for the race, I wasn’t able to give the 43-throwback car the sendoff it deserved. I made a series of mistakes that took me from podium position to stuck in a snowbank. Then it got worse. I threw the car into reverse and stepped on the gas without confirming the course was clear behind me.”
“I was stuck, high centered. and honestly didn’t expect the car to move off the snowbank, but it did. I backed onto the track right in front of my good friend (Ken’s good friend and protégé) Andreas Bakkerud . My poor decision ended his night.”
“I continued and crossed the finish line in 5th but was rightfully DQ’d for unsafe re-entry.”
“Andreas was having the year of his life, leading the Nitro Rallycross championship before two of the gnarliest crashes I’ve ever witnessed. He hasn’t had a lot of jump experience and these crashes made him reconsider getting back into the series at all (even though he was still 2nd in points) The last thing he needed was to have a car back out in his line. I’m truly sorry. I know this doesn’t help the outcome or get either of us back in the championship hunt, but I am sorry.”
“As for the series, I think our first ice race was a success. @olivereriksson16 became the 5th different winner in the first 7 rounds. A testament to how competitive the drivers are and how unique each track has been.”
“Everyone has had a chance to shine and these 1000hp electric cars have provided close and exciting racing. Three rounds to go. We will brush ourselves off and do everything we can to finish this season strong. Thanks for the support and hope to see you all at the races soon.”

A Ken Block tribute from Hoonigan mates

And another announcement from Snowbowl 2023

From Spud Speedway Facebook page, “Huge Announcement! If you’re going to call it the Snowbowl, you better go big! In the world of freestyle snowmobile stunts and personalities it doesn’t get any bigger than Jackass Movie Reality Star and X Games freestyle competitor, Dave England and Freestyle extraordinal, Chris Coosemans.

Dave & Chris are making their way to the Snowbowl to put on a show in the Fisher Rave X Freestyle Stunt show right on Bennett Drive on Saturday night March 4th during the Machias Savings Sledabration. Make sure to mark your calendars and make your way to the Caribou Wellness Center. We have the Remax North Realty Vintage Snowmobile Show, music, bonfires, food trucks, beer garden, a snowmobile parade, vendors, fireworks and more! See you all at the Snowbowl!

My heart is at the IMSA Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona next weekend. It will mark the fourth year since I lasted covered the event.

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria