Next up for the previews is Sting Ray Robb. Following a diverse background in auto racing, the 21-year-old will make his INDYCAR debut on the streets of St. Petersburg a week from today. Here’s a look at his path to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
Robb’s path began similar to many of his peers, with go-karting. After starting at age five, the Payette, Idaho would join the national karting circuit three years later. By age 11, he would become the #1 USA Mini-Max Driver and earn a spot on the Mini-Max Team USA Invitational.
Moving from the Cadet to the Junior division, Robb finished second in the Rotax Junior MAX and was named Rookie of the Year, including a Super Pole win at the US Grand Nationals. He was also named to Team USA at the Grand Nationals in 2014 and 2015 (the latter as a Qualifying Member).
Robb earned three international karting titles in 2015 and was again named to Team USA for the Grand Nationals in Portugal. In the Rotax Grand Nationals, Robb finished second in Junior Max.
By year’s end, his efforts would lead to accolades and some opportunities in single-seaters. Robb secured the Bryan Herta Career Advancement Scholarship by finishing second in the Skip Barber Karts to Cars shootout.
Competing in the Skip Barber Winter Series, Robb notched three wins and one pole position to earn a runner-up finish during the 2015-2016 season.
Climbing the Ladder
In addition to open-wheels, Robb would make his stock car debut, competing in three NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races. Robb earned a best start of 12th in his debut at the Utah Motorsports Campus. At Meridian Speedway, Robb. earned a best finish of 17th in front of the home-state crowd.
By 2017, Robb would begin his Road to Indy, starting with the Indy Pro 2000 Series (now USF Pro 2000). Driving for World Speed Motor Sport, he earned three fourth-place finishes (St. Petersburg, Road America and Watkins Glen) on his way to a sixth-place finish in points.
Robb also earned a combined eight podiums in Pro Formula Mazda and FormulaSPEED, finishing tenth and fifth in the series (one win in the latter series). Robb joined Team Palfrey for the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 season.
He would earn his first Road to Indy podium at the first race of the IMS Road Course doubleheader in May, finishing third. Robb finished the year seventh in points.
That September, he earned a 10th-place finish at Meridian Speedway in his K&N Pro Series West return.
2019 would be Robb’s best season to date on the Road to Indy. After moving to Juncos Racing, the Idahoan notched six podiums and two pole positions, ultimately ending the year fourth in points.
The partnership between Juncos and Sting Ray Robb continued for the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 series. On the strength of seven race victories and five pole positions, he earned the series championship. As Indy Pro 2000 Champion, Robb earned a scholarship to move on to Indy Lights (now Indy NXT).
The newly-rebranded Juncos Hollinger Racing would move Robb up to Indy Lights for the 2021 season. Robb earned his best finish during the opening round of the season finale Mid-Ohio doubleheader (fifth).
2022 would see Robb move over to Andretti Autosport’s Indy Lights effort. He earned five podium finishes in the first seven races. Most notable during that stretch, he led the most laps and finished second at Road America.
Robb finished off his second Lights campaign with a sweep of the pole positions for the season-ending doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. During the opening race, he earned a long-awaited first victory.
On January 18, 2023, Robb was confirmed as the full-time driver of the No. 51 for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing. This was following a test day at Sebring International Raceway.
“This is an opportunity – a dream – that has been long in the making,” Robb emphasized in the announcement.
“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.”
Robb’s co-Car Owners expressed similar anticipation for the 2023 season.
“We’re very excited to have Sting Ray join our team,” co-Owner Dale Coyne expressed.
“He is coming off a very strong INDY NXT season and he impressed us and performed very well earlier this month at our test.”
“Dale and I have spent a lot of the off season testing and discussing driver options,” said Co-Owner Rick Ware.
“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.”
During the Spring Training Open Test at the Thermal Club, he logged 185 laps, more than any other driver. Robb will look to follow the successful rookie seasons of DCR drivers that includes teammate David Malukas, who enters his sophomore campaign.