Myles Rowe, the first driver selected to test by Roger Penske for his new Race For Equality & Change program, has become the first driver chosen to represent the RE&C’s Force Indy USF2000 team.
The 20-year-old from Atlanta will also continue his pursuit of higher education as a film major at Pace University in New York City while campaigning the No. 99 Tatuus USF17 chassis run by Force Indy with support from Team Penske. Led by Rod Reid, Force Indy was created as an academy to develop African-American talent on the pit crew and driving side of the sport, with a goal of advancing the brightest stars upward towards the NTT IndyCar Series.
“We vetted many deserving young men and women and chose Myles based on his ability and performance, inside and outside of the cockpit,” Reid said. “He understands Force Indy’s mission of building a diverse team of talented individuals. He’s a great fit for the team.”
From his first RE&C test in a USF2000 car last summer, Power was convinced of Rowe’s potential.
“It was really hot and he was out there by himself; but if you look at the video and his lines, he was doing really good,” the 2014 IndyCar Series champion told RACER. “Everyone was impressed; he didn’t put a wheel wrong all day.”
In a subsequent RE&C test, and formal testing where multiple candidates were assessed for the Force Indy opportunity, Rowe made it hard for Reid and the rest of the RE&C leadership to look elsewhere for their first driver.
“It’s a blessing for sure,” he said. “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. 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.”
Rowe’s USF2000 debut will take place in familiar territory. While his father hails from Jamaica, his mother was born and raised in Alabama, about three hours south from where Rowe will pilot the No. 99 Force Indy entry at Barber Motorsports Park in the city of Leeds during IndyCar’s opening weekend on April 15-18.