Sowery to test RLL IndyCar
In Toby Sowery’s one and only full season of Indy NXT, he appeared on the podium seven times and won a race with the formerly unheralded HMD Motorsports team as he chased Rinus VeeKay and Oliver Askew to finish third in the 2019 standings.
A return in 2021 with Juncos Racing produced more podiums in an abbreviated season, and with the call to stand in for HMD’s Josh Pierson when Pierson’s away racing sports cars, Sowery shot to the podium once again at the recent Indy NXT by Firestone race at Barber Motorsports Park, taking third after being away from the series for almost two years.
Amid starts and stops due to limited budgets, the Briton has been impressive in every opportunity he’s been given, which makes his nomination by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing NTT IndyCar Series team to test for the team on June 8 at Sebring a fitting choice by the rebuilding organization.
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“It’s been a lot of hard work to get to the position we’re at,” Sowery told RACER. “But we’ve had a lot of good people putting in the effort behind the scenes, and we’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to test with RLL and they’ve been really good and welcoming. With the new investment and facility they’ve built, they’re striving to be back at the front of the grid, which they’re starting to show already.”
Sowery’s persistence has been a significant part of his story. Whenever it looks like the door has closed during his rise up the open-wheel ladder, the 26-year-old always manages to find a way to return and send reminders that he’s worthy of consideration for bigger and better opportunities.
The outreach from Bobby Rahal, who met with Sowery on a recent visit to the U.K., led to the latest chance to take another step forward in his career.
“Obviously, people can say it was a bit of a risk to [put him in Pierson’s seat] after not being in the car for so long, but I think Barber was an insight of managing to pull a relatively strong result out,” he said. “Everything I’m doing is aiming towards IndyCar in 2024. That’s ultimately the goal. And these are the steps in place with doing my first IndyCar test that we have to take. I’m just really excited about how everything is going ahead and can’t wait to get this test done.”
Sowery is set for five Indy NXT races with HMD Motorsports this year, and although his future is far from defined, RLL has made a strong impression on where he’d like to work in IndyCar. If all goes well at the test, the series could have another name to add to the growing list of talented free agents.
“If we can partner with RLL, I think they’re a very good team,” he said. “And obviously, with winning Rookie of the Year with Christian Lundgaard, it’s a very special place to be for a rookie driver.”
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