No, Sting Ray isn’t a nickname.
Sting Ray Robb, a 21-year-old driver for Dale Coyne Racing, has Sting Ray on his birth certificate — and he’s not named after the fish, either. His parents, who are Chevrolet enthusiasts, named him after the sports car Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Ironically, the IndyCar rookie is driving the No. 51 Dallara-Honda for Dale Coyne Racing — straying from his Chevrolet roots. He is in Sunday's :Last Chance Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, competing with three other drivers for the final three spots in the race.
But as Robb realizes his dream on the IndyCar circuit, his parents have been supportive.
“That's a tricky question,” Robb said of his parents’ love for Chevrolet. “Yeah, my parents are big Corvette fans, and I think that they ruled out criticizing me too badly because they know the dream is IndyCar. I'll be in a Honda car and I'm assuming it'll go pretty quick, so I'm okay with all of that.”
And he doesn’t need to change his name to NSX, another sports car with a Honda engine.
“My name is my name,” Robb said. “I don't need a rename. Thank you.”
How Robb joined Dale Coyne Racing: Sting Ray Robb assumed Linus Lundqvist had Coyne ride. Indy Lights champ still sidelined
After transitioning from the developmental Indy NXT league, Robb is in his first season as an IndyCar driver. He got into the No. 51 seat by chance, taking the offer after he found out Linus Lundqvist wasn’t going to take it.
“I think the driving style is fairly similar moving from Indy Next to IndyCar,” Robb said. “My first day in the car it felt very natural. It felt like it was an Indy Next car that did what I wanted it to do. I didn't have to wrestle it around as much. But at the same time, you had more tools at your disposal. Obviously more speed, more power, better handling, the tires are much grippier. I think the biggest thing for me to learn would be on the strategy side, pit stop side of things, because that's nothing what we've had to do before.”
Robb is one of two full-time Dale Coyne Racing drivers, joining 21-year-old David Malukas. Malukas qualified for the Indy 500 on Saturday, sitting in row 8 at 23rd in the field.
But Robb, who couldn't make it into the top 30 in the first day of qualifying, will have to fight for a spot in the last row of the Indy 500 on the second day Sunday.
Qualifying day 2: LIVE: Indy 500 qualifying results for pole position, Row 11, bumping
Robb is one of four drivers — joining Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard — who will have one hour to take four-lap attempts around the track to determine the slowest driver, who will not make the field for the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Last chance qualifying will run from 4-5 p.m. ET on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.