All roads truly do lead to Indianapolis this month as the young talent from two of the three Indy Racing League “Road to Indy” ladder series’ (USF2000 and Star Mazda) will compete at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. on Saturday, May 29th as part of the famed “Night Before the 500.”
As a tune up, USF2000 and Star Mazda held an open test at ORP last week for their teams and drivers to get acquainted with the challenging oval. Unofficially, Star Mazda driver Conor Daly set a track record – shattering the times of any series that has competed there (USAC, Nationwide Series, etc.) before them. Side by side racing was the norm over the course of the two days and this was only a test! I can’t wait to see what they can do when there are championship points and a trophy on the line. Oh wait, and not to mention the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights team owners and drivers that will surely be in attendance….no pressure guys!
And let’s talk about the kids (and yes, they are kids!) who drive these cars. USF2000 series points leader Sage Karam is only 15 years old. He’s not old enough to (legally) drive a passenger car on the road, but was talented enough to catch the eye of Michael Andretti, who hired him to drive in the series for his team. Karam didn’t disappoint and dominated the season opening doubleheader weekend in St. Petersburg! Will his skill transition to the tricky .686 mile oval at ORP?
How about Star Mazda’s Conor Daly? The son of driving veteran Derek Daly is only 18 and is already making a name for himself (see track record reference above). Not only are these drivers fast, but you should see the line they run around ORP. For a minute I was wondering if we were watching sprint cars riding the cushion at Eldora with the way these guys run at the top of the track! It’s going to be one heck of a show!
Come check out the future stars of Indy car at ORP on May 29th! Get your tickets here!