Tampa Bay Times

Indy racer Sting Ray Robb's got a leg up in the name department

Mike Baker
January 13, 2021

PALMETTO — The first thing to know about racer Sting Ray Robb is that, yes, Sting Ray is his real name.

The second thing to know is that the story behind it perfectly fits the 15-year-old Idaho native who will compete in the Pro Mazda series during next month's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

"It's not the fish," Robb said. "A lot of people think that."

Here's the real story: His parents loved Corvettes — you know, Corvette Stingrays?

His dad's ancestors are from Stirlingshire, Scotland. Sting, Robb said, is short for Stirling. Both of his grandfathers have Ray as either a first or middle name.

"We kind of took a whole big compilation of things and got Sting Ray," Robb said.

Given Robb's career goals with racing, his name ended up making sense, even if it has resulted in more than a few jokes at this expense over the years.

Robb was in town Tuesday at Andersen RacePark to promote the Grand Prix, and he'll be back in a few weeks, even though it means more time away from school. Like many drivers in IndyCar's feeder series, he's still a student, at Idaho's Payette High School. He studies on flights and at night, after practices and events.

Robb somehow finds time for other sports, too. He ran cross country and just finished the basketball season. Robb believes hoops (he's usually a point guard) makes him a better driver.

"I've noticed a difference when I'm playing it and not playing it, just because of hand-eye coordination," Robb said. "With racing, you have to have good hand-eye coordination and footwork."