INDIANAPOLIS - Twenty years after Willy T. Ribbs became the first black driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500, he has chosen a black driver for his new Firestone Indy Lights team.
Ribbs announced Thursday that 21-year-old Chase Austin will drive for Willy T. Ribbs Racing. The team is a partnership between Ribbs and Starting Grid, Inc. If Austin qualifies for the May 27 Freedom 100, the driver from Eudora, Kan., would become the first black driver to start an Indy Lights race.
Austin has spent the past two seasons competing in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series.
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was the last black driver to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and his victory in the 2007 United States Grand Prix race makes him the only one with a victory there.