Idaho Statesman

This Idahoan is one of the best race car drivers in the U.S. Now he’s joining IndyCar

Shuan Goodwin
January 19, 2023

Sting Ray Robb will take over the No. 51 car at Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing. OSAMU IMATOMI Team SR2

He once drove the famous Big Idaho Potato Truck. Now one of the best young race-car drivers in the country will be operating one of the fastest vehicles you can find.

The last available full-time seat in the upcoming year’s IndyCar Series grid was filled on Wednesday, as Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing announced the signing of Idaho driver Sting Ray Robb.

Robb was born in Boise and then his family moved to Payette. The 21-year-old has quickly risen through the ranks of American motorsport racing and has secured a spot in one of the nation’s most competitive series.

He will be one of just 28 full-time drivers in IndyCar in 2023.

“This is an opportunity — a dream — that has been long in the making,” Robb stated in a news release on Wednesday. “I’m honored to join forces with Dale Coyne, Rick Ware, and the whole organization.”

IndyCar is the highest class of open-wheel, single-seat formula racing in North America. It is on par with other such series worldwide and features several former Formula 1 drivers, such as Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi. Robb has spent the past two seasons in the INDY NXT Series — previously called Indy Lights — with Juncos Hollinger Racing and Andretti Autosport. With Andretti Autosport in 2022, Robb had 11 top-five finishes, eight podiums, two poles and a victory at the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca. He finished second in the overall standings.

Robb made his first unofficial outing with Dale Coyne-Rick Ware earlier this month during a one-day test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. He will pilot the No. 51 Honda-powered car, replacing two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato, who’s joining Chip Ganassi Racing.

Paired with 21-year-old teammate David Malukas, Robb will be part of the youngest pairing on the 2023 grid.

“We’re very excited to have Sting Ray join our team,” Dale Coyne, team co-owner, said in a news release. “He is coming off a very strong Indy NXT season, and he impressed us and performed very well earlier this month at our test.

“I think he and David will make a great pairing. With David continuing where he left off last year, and Sting Ray wanting to do well in his rookie season, we have two young and eager drivers who, I think, are a force to be reckoned with.”

Robb first started go-karting at age 5 and began his racing career in Idaho at 8 years old, according to the news release. He competed nationally throughout his youth, finishing second in the United States in his first year in the junior ranks at the age of 9.

By 2015, he had won the Triple Crown of International Karting Championships — the Can-Am Karting Challenge, the Challenge of the Americas and the Florida Winter Tour — and soon after switched to auto racing.

“Dale Coyne Racing has a historically distinguished program that has seen success with many drivers and, most recently, with young, talented drivers,” Robb said. “I’m looking forward to continuing in that trend and expecting some strong results as we enter my rookie season.”

Robb will make his IndyCar Series debut when the 2023 season kicks off on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida on the weekend of March 3-5. He will also drive his No. 51 car at The Thermal Club Open Test in California on Feb. 2-3.