New teams, drivers, tracks and excitement surrounds the sport of open wheel racing today, for what can only be described as a new beginning for the entire sport. A young driver from Basildon, England has begun a new chapter in his racing career by fulfilling his dream to become a top level professional race car driver. Jay Howard has joined Roth Racing to compete in the pinnacle of open wheel racing in North America with the Indy Racing League.
In what could be the beginning of a renaissance in open wheel racing in North America, the sport has taken a new turn in the right direction. The recent announcement of the merger of the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series will insure growth of the sport and unite fans to a single series. Roth Racing is poised to become the up-and-coming team as they compete in their first full season of racing in the Indy Racing League. Owner driver Marty Roth has committed to a full season in the IRL and has hired 2006 Indy Pro Series Champion Jay Howard to drive his second car.
Roth had this to say about the experience at Sebring: “We were really pleased with our first road course test. Neither Jay nor myself had been in one of these cars on a road course before and we got comfortable and were able to turn some pretty respectable times. We learned a lot over the last two days and are confident that we'll be strong and competitive. It's great to have a teammate to help in dialing in our cars. We can cover so much more ground with two cars. Jay is an asset to the team. He's a great driver and doesn't waste time out there, he gets on it.”
Jay Howard began climbing the racing ladder at the age of seven when he and his father decided to go karting in England. Howard has won many championships in his career, but winning the 2006 Indy Pro Series Championship was something special. In addition, Howard’s decision to run in the IPS would afford him the experience of driving the same tracks and being seen by the IRL teams, which would prove crucial for his driving career. Howard would meet his current team owner and co-driver Marty Roth at these races and earn the reputation of a talented young driver.
“I can’t express enough how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to drive with Roth Racing,” said the excited Howard. “I have worked my whole life to get to this point and that hard work has paid off. I look forward to the season and getting behind the wheel.”
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