Indy NXT Rising Star Myles Rowe Blazing a Fast Trail to NTT IndyCar Series

a man smiling and holding a helmet
Rising Indy NXT Star Myles Rowe Blazing Fast TrailPenske Entertainment/James Black
  • Myles Rowe is an Indy NXT series driver to keep an eye on.

  • The 23-year-old IndyCar hopeful is a trailblazer both on and off the track, and it's a role he embraces.

  • Rowe hopes that he will one day be an inspiration to the next generation of racers.

While Myles Rowe is still a year or two from the NTT IndyCar Series grid, he's already piling up firsts.

Rowe is first Black driver to win an IndyCar-sanctioned event when he won a race in the USF2000 Series. The 2021 win at New Jersey Motorsports Park was one of five wins that year for the Powder Springs, Georgia, native.

Rowe is also the first Black driver to bring home a American open-wheel series season championship, winning the USF Pro 2000 title a year ago.


This year, on a Wednesday in May while the drivers of the NTT IndyCar Series were preparing for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, Rowe was in Detroit to throw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers baseball game and do a little public relations for the upcoming Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

Rowe could be excused if is mind wandered a bit to the goings on at Indianapolis and a race that might just be on his own schedule before long.

indianapolis, in during the indycar sonsio grand prix in indianapolis, indiana photo by chris jones ims photo
Myles Rowe drives the No. 99 for HMD Motorsports with Force Indy in the Indy NXT Series.Penske Entertainment/James Black

"I definitely hope to be there in a year," Rowe said. "If it takes two, it takes two. It's the month of May and the Greatest Spectacle in the World—the Indianapolis 500. It's going to be great to be getting to be more of a part of it as the years go by."

The 23-year-old Rowe is a driver to keep an eye on. He's registered top-10 finishes in each of the first four Indy NXT races this season. The series rookie comes into the June 2 race on the streets of Detroit as part of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix weekend sitting fifth in the championship.

Rowe's calling card comes with oodles of talent, an infectious personality, a big smile, and no one can accuse the HMD Motorsports with Force Indy driver of lacking confidence.

"When I sit down with everyone at the team, they're all very pleased with how I'm performing," he said. "This is all they wanted to ask for—top-10s, finish the races and get the experience. But with me, I'm a bit disappointed in how I started the year.

"I'm looking for wins, I'm looking for podiums, I'm looking for a championship. Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed in how I've started the season because I believe we have way more pace than we're showing."

Like many racers on a path to IndyCar, Rowe began his racing career in karting. He's long had his eyes set on a career in open-wheel racing.

"Growing up, open wheel was always my goal—Formula 1, naturally. That's everyone's goal," he said. "Open wheel is the fastest cars going, turning the fastest speeds with the most advanced technology and also the best drivers and on road course and street courses.

"IndyCar does do all those like NASCAR, but the majority of the IndyCar calendar is road courses and street courses, and that's what I wanted to race on. I just love how dynamic they can get and how technical you can get with your driving and find your style through that."

a person taking a picture of a boy with a camera
Myles Rowe knows what it’s like to have racing heroes.Penske Entertainment/Chris Jones

Being the third Black driver to race in the Indy 500 in line behind Willy T. Ribbs and George Mack would definitely mean something to Rowe. Mack is the most recent driver to make the list. Mack finished 17th in the 2002 500 that was won by Helio Castroneves.

Rowe is a trailblazer both on and off the track, and it's a role he embraces.

"Obviously, I'm very proud and privileged to be the first in some of these things," Rowe said. "I don't wish for it to go away. It's some nice accolades, and I'm glad my hard work is paying off. That was always the goal growing up.

"And, yes, it's nothing I shy away from for sure. I'm definitely not going to go outside and shouting about it, but I do like that people recognize it because it is a big deal and it will be a big deal later on."

Rowe is an old soul at heart who puts old-school F1 stars Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton in a group atop his personal list of drivers he admires.

Rowe hopes that he, too, might one day be listed as an inspiration by the next generation of racers.

"There's definitely some younger kids out there watching, and when you see a kid starting to look up to you, it's such an honor to be in that position," Rowe said. "I used to be that kid.

"I really just love how I'm in a position where I can look at someone that was like me and try to help communicate with them how they can get started and find their way a bit better. I love that I'm the other side of that position."

And as for the advice Rowe might just offer to the next up-and-coming trailblazer?

"It's just about being grounded and knowing yourself and having a plan," he said. "It's really just the belief. If you don't believe you can do something, if you don't believe you can manifest it, it's not going to happen.

"My whole mindset was, if I can't even say it, how am I going to do it? When I was in elementary school, middle school, everyone knew I wanted to be a race car driver.

"And here I am."