Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Bumgarner's to Indy Lights?

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:26 am Indy Lights

Well, we heard this last year.

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.

And then this today.

Next year, Michele and Mark will join the biggest race of their careers by far, the Firestone Indy Lights Series. Over the winter and into February next year, she would have to be hard into training. To keep her body in shape, she works out at PitFit five days a week. When she does have free time, she’s content to just hang out with friends.

I hate to say it, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  I have always been very impressed with Michele’s karting endeavors, but if she’s going to make the move to Indy Lights then she should have ran another year of Star Mazda competition or a similar formula in 2009, not reverted back to karting.  Her best finish in Star Mazda last season was 15th.  She clearly has driving talent, but it needs to be developed prior to just jumping into an Indy Lights car.  Mark spent 2008 in the Skip Barber National championship where he posted mediocre results.  His best finish was 3rd at VIR.  Again, he looks to have potential but he needs further development.

I hope these two can make it, but it takes more than just announcing that you will be running in IndyCar or Indy Lights next season.

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