Rowe Sees Career Best as Building Block for Title Run

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Myles Rowe

Climbing from 19th to a fourth-place finish during the INDY NXT by Firestone Detroit Grand Prix on June 2, Myles Rowe earned the Jostens Biggest Mover of the Race Award.

Series rookie Rowe was pleased with his best career finish in the INDYCAR development series, but he’s a competitor. He isn’t going to celebrate a top-five finish any differently than any other race this season.

“We’re looking for points, especially for this first part of the season,” Rowe said. “I really envisioned some more top-fives in there. When people tell me anything about ‘top something’ and it’s not five, I kind of get disappointed. I’m a driver. I’m always asking for more. But I’m also very grateful. I’m very happy. It could be a lot worse.”

Rowe overcame two crashes, one in practice and another in qualifying, on the bumpy, nine-turn, 1.645-mile Detroit street circuit to charge 15 spots in the race. HMD Motorsports with Force Indy driver Rowe finished eighth, sixth, fifth and seventh, respectively, entering Detroit and looks to build momentum the rest of the season with a championship push in mind.

The next race for the series is Sunday, June 9 at Road America (1:05 p.m. ET, Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network). Rowe is fifth in the standings, 81 points behind leader Jacob Abel, with nine races remaining.

“We’re going to fight for the championship with all our hearts,” he said. “I learned a lot this weekend and going to be applying that toward the future. We hopefully will be going to rack up lots and lots more points to get this championship.

“It’s all about wins here. That’s how you win the championship. You don’t win off of a podium. That’s what I’m going for. That’s what I’m here for. That’s how it works with me. Just put me in four wheels, and I’ll be a contender. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Rowe knows from experience. Last season competing with Pabst Racing with Force Indy in the USF Pro 2000 Championship, Rowe hoisted the championship trophy to become the first African American driver to win a North American open-wheel championship.

Those seeds were sewn when he began racing in the USF2000 championship in 2021 with Force Indy as part of Penske Entertainment’s Race for Equality and Change program. Rowe moved to Pabst Racing in 2022 and narrowly missed out on the USF2000 title before rising to USF Pro 2000 last season with the team and Force Indy’s support.

To climb to title contender status in INDY NXT by Firestone, Rowe said he must qualify better in his No. 99 entry. He’s started third, ninth, 12th, 10th and 19th, respectively, this season.

Road America is a great place for Rowe to continue this momentum and improve in qualifying. He has two top-five finishes in the last three races this season. Plus, he has finished in the top five in each of his last four starts on the scenic, 4.014-mile road course in two different series, USF2000 and USF Pro 2000.

Rowe is trying to become the first rookie INDY NXT by Firestone champion since Kyle Kirkwood for Andretti Global in 2021.