Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Indy Lights: Entry List for Barber Open Test

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm Indy Lights, Test

The entry list for the Indy Lights open test at Barber Motorsports Park was released today. No huge surprises here but there are some obvious candidates missing from the list.  Hopefully, that issue will be resolved in the near future.

As a side note, Charlie Kimball is the lone American entered in the test.

  • Richard Kent (Genoa)
  • Carmen Jorda (Andersen Racing)
  • Gustavo Yacaman (Cape Motorsports w/Wayne Taylor Racing)
  • Pippa Mann (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)
  • Philip Major (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)
  • Jean-Karl Vernay (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)
  • Jan Heylen (Team E)
  • Rodrigo Barbosa (PDM)
  • James Hinchcliffe (Team Moore)
  • Adrian Campos Jr. (Team Moore)
  • Charlie Kimball (AFS/Andretti Autosport)
  • Martin Plowman (AFS/Andretti Autosport)
  • Stefan Wilson (Bryan Herta Autosport)
  • Sebastian Saavedra (Bryan Herta Autosport)


  1. paul on February 22, 2010 9:50 pm

    Curious – What’s the general conscensous as to why not more americans?

  2. Mark on February 23, 2010 5:50 am

    Sam Schmidt Motorsports have signed Frenchman J.K. Vernay for their third seat so I am assuming he will be there. (http://f1prospects.com/sam-schmidt-motorsports-announces-its-third-driver-for-2010-j-k-vernay/)

    It appears that the Europeans are using Indy Lights as a less expensive way to continue their careers when opportunities dry up across the pond. Not very many Americans can pull in enough sponsorship to race open wheels right now. Even Graham Rahal is struggling to find an Indycar ride!

    At least there are two Canadians though!

  3. Ryan on February 23, 2010 11:43 am

    Paul– As tweeted by Pressdog (http://twitter.com/pressdog/status/9535065707) earlier today: “North America needs more sugar daddies, obviously.”

  4. paul on February 23, 2010 12:37 pm

    Hmmm…. sad situation. Hope it turns around. So it sounds like the answer to why there aren’t more Americans is simply because the American drivers don’t have enough money and the others do.

    Are the foreigners (generally speaking): 1) self funded, coming from families with money, 2) finding sponsors in their local countries, or 3) taking dollars from US-based sponsors?

    If the situation is #1 – well, so be it. Nothing we can do from stopping someone from spending their money here in the US. Let’s hope they spend a lot of it!

    If it is #3, then it sounds like the real crux of the problem is that our American drivers are just not putting together a value proposition that is enticing enough to the US companies. How do we remedy that situation?

    If it is #2, Then why aren’t the America drivers knocking on doors of foreign companies as well? It seems to me that if a foreign company sees value in sponsoring a racing driver in a US based series (albeit with some international tracks), then I would think they would be equally as interested in a US driver as the face representing such a company looking to grow in the US.
    Maybe we are the victims of our melting pot? And foreign companies now want the face of someone from their country representing them in the US because they believe there is a strong enough indigenous population from their country now residing in the US so as to pay returns on their sponsorship investment in the US with a local countrymen doing the representation? Or, is it a matter of foreign companies that are so flush with cash they are not concerned with a return on their investment and could care less as to what happens with their Euros, Yens, Rubies and Pasos?

    Either way, are Americans knocking on the doors of these foreign companies, nonetheless? We do live in a global society and you never know till you ask.

    If a foreign company truly wants to promote their company and product here in the US – which I am assuming they want to do since I can’t image there is much promotion of this race series in foreign countries, is there? Heck, it is barely on the TV here so what kind of coverage does it have in other countries? – why not have a US driver doing that as opposed to a foreign driver. Where’s the value in it for a foreign company doing business in the US to have a foreign driver as opposed to a US driver?

    Bottom line, I just don’t want to role over and simply accept the statement “Oh they just have more cash.”

  5. Ryan on February 23, 2010 2:29 pm

    Insightful comment. Unfortunately, the reason for the lack of Americans is probably a combination of all three scenarios. Hopefully a few more readers will jump in and add their thoughts on this situation. Thanks for your contribution.

  6. Jeffrey on February 24, 2010 12:19 pm

    I’m afraid you’re forgetting one vital aspect that may explain why there are so few Americans present. Open Wheel racing has been diminishing year by year in North America, and NASCAR keeps getting bigger. The stock car categories swallow the majority of the U.S. drivers simply because there are more paid drives and future opportunities.

Write a Comment

Junior Open Wheel Talent Blog

Promote Your Page Too