Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Indy Lights: Bumgarner Inks 5-Year-Deal

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted November 17, 2008 at 6:56 pm Indy Lights, Signing

Michele Bumgarner of the Philippines has signed a deal with Derrick Walker (Walker Racing) and Charlie Patterson (NexGen MTD) to compete in the 2009 Indy Lights series. The deal comes as part of the NexGen MTD driver development program, which will see Bumgarner participate in both the Indy Lights and IndyCar series, should she show the necessary progression.

Bumgarner spent the majority of 2008, driving in the Star Mazda Championship for John Walko Racing. Her best finish in the Star Mazda Series was 15th on July 27th, 2008. That result just so happened to mark her last start in the series….. making her move to the Indy Lights series for 2009 seem outrageous. That’s not to say she’s incapable of running at that level, it just seems quite obvious that she could use at least one more year in the Star Mazda Championship to develop (being that this signing is part of a driver development program.)

Michele did continue her development in karting though by becoming the first female driver to win the prestigious Rock Island Grand Prix. Michele competed in the Tag Sr. category.

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