The Trussville Tribune

IndyCar Rookie Races With Faith

Johnny Sanders
April 26, 2023

IRONDALE – NTT IndyCar rookie Sting Ray Robb is a breath of fresh air. In a world where censorship of one’s beliefs is increasing almost daily, Robb is not afraid to share his faith in Christ. “James 1:2-4 has been one of the most impactful verses in my life,” he said.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Robb in action at Long Beach.
Photo by: Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

“It has helped me get through some tough times because it’s a good reminder that whatever is happening, whatever the struggles are, it’s for a purpose, and we’re still in God’s control.”

Robb’s message is as unique as his name. “Sting Ray Robb is his real, legal name,” said his mother, Kimmie. “Sting Ray is his first name and his middle name is Davis, my maiden name.”

“Sting Ray’s dad, Larry, and I were avid car enthusiasts. We both had Corvettes and were, to say the least, big Corvette (Stingray) fans. But that isn’t all there is to the name,” she said. “In addition to that, the Robb name was originally found in Stirlingshire, Scotland. In Europe, Stirling is often shortened to Sting. Furthermore, Larry’s dad and my dad’s middle names are Ray. So, as you can see, Sting Ray was quite simply the best way to tie it all together!”

The Payette, Idaho native started racing in karting as a five-year-old and quickly advanced to open-wheel cars. In 2017 and 2018 he competed in the Pro Mazda series. He moved to the Indy Pro 2000 series for the next two years and won the championship in 2020. He advanced to Indy Lights for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He was runner-up in the Lights championship in 2022. Robb then signed with Dale Coyne with RWR in 2023.

Robb has adapted quickly to the bigger and more powerful IndyCar. “It is different,” he said. “I feel like the IndyCar is actually easier to drive than the Lights car at times, but you’re doing it longer.”

“You’re not doing a 45-minute race; you’re doing a two-hour to three-hour race, so you have to sustain it for longer,” the 21-year-old rookie said. “Therefore, it’s more physical, so for me, that was a big focus during the off-season.”

Robb competes at Barber, a track that he is very familiar with, this weekend. “Barber is a very unique track,” Robb said. “It is definitely not something we have as far as driving style or car set up anywhere else.”

“As a driver, it’s very, very physical. You go into the compression at the bottom of turn twelve and up the hill into thirteen and fourteen, and we’re getting probably upwards of three and a half Gs for a pretty long while,” he said. “Whereas other tracks you go to, you don’t have that. You might get a splash of three and a half Gs but not sustained like at Barber.”

Robb has big plans for the month of May. He is partnering with Kingdom Racing to put John 3:16 on his Dale Coyne with RWR Honda at this year’s Indy 500. “We’ve worked with them the last couple of years. They bring underprivileged kids or groups to the track to give them an experience outside of the life they know,” Robb said. “A lot of times, you get kids in family situations that are not optimal. Bringing them to the racetrack shows them what they could be. It gets them inspired to be an engineer, mechanic or something like that, and gives them some sort of a path and goal.”

Kingdom Racing’s platform and initiatives were something that Robb wanted to get involved with. “I felt like I was there to encourage and just bring a little hope to them,” he said. “Look at me, I’m just a small-town Payette, Idaho kid, and I got here because of blessings that God gave me.”

Robb’s vision for using whatever platform he had for sharing Christ with others came at an early age. “I saw Tim Tebow wearing the John 3:16 eye-black during the college football national championship when I was young and it inspired me to share my faith,” he said. “I feel there’s a movement that was inspired by Tim that I can continue.”

“I believe God is giving me this platform to be sort of like the next Tim Tebow of racing,” Robb said. “I believe racing has given me a lot of life experiences that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and because of that, I have gotten to grow my faith.”

“There are plenty of miracles that we get to see on the racetrack,” Robb said. “I know we’re not anyone else’s doing other than God’s. Because of those instances, I know what I’m here for, and racing is just a byproduct of what God’s doing for me.”

The whole John 3:16 message is not meant to be complete. We want to get the Word into someone’s ears so they can develop that faith; hear before they can do,” he said. “Our goal is just to reach the people that may not have heard the Word yet. And what better platform to do it than at the Indy 500.”

“God has had a hand every step of the way along this incredible journey that has brought Sting Ray to IndyCar,” his mom said. “He’s right where God intended him to be. Sting Ray is using his God-given talent on the God-provided platform to reach others for Him. We are all so blessed to be on this amazing journey with him.”