Firestone Indy Lights to support Team USA scholarship

The Firestone Indy Lights is getting involved in a scholarship program that has helped shape the career of several of today's top American racers.

The official developmental series of the IndyCar Series is among the supporters of the Team USA Scholarship, which is taking two young drivers to England to compete in the Formula Ford Festival – the same event that helped launch the career of Danica Patrick – and the Walter Hayes Trophy.

"I'm thrilled to have the Firestone Indy Lights championship as a supporter of the Team USA Scholarship," said Jeremy Shaw, the program's founder. “Our program has quite a history with Indy Lights, dating from Bryan Herta, who won the scholarship in 1991 and then the Indy Lights title in '93, to J.R. Hildebrand, the 2005 scholarship winner, who was a front-runner this year with RLR-Andersen Racing. It's very encouraging to see the higher echelons of our sport seeking to help out deserving youngsters at an early stage in their careers."

Ten past winners of the Team USA scholarship have gone on to compete in the IndyCar Series and/or Firestone Indy Lights. This year's recipients are Conor Daly of Noblesville, Ind., and Josef Newgarden of Hendersonville, Tenn.

"Firestone Indy Lights is an essential step for drivers seeking to compete in the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500, and supporting Team USA Scholarship is a natural fit for our series," said Roger Bailey, executive director of Firestone Indy Lights. "The success of the program's alumni speaks volumes for the kind of program Jeremy has put together and hopefully we can work with these very promising young drivers very soon."

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