Former Indy Lights champion and current Indy 500 driver Jay Howard is to expand his junior formula team to include a full-time campaign in the 2019 USF2000 series.
Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD), which started as a kart team in 2012, expanded to the US Formula 4 Championship last year, graduating three of its karters – Sam Paley, Parker Locke and Max Peichel – the latter of whom has already moved into USF2000 this season. The squad’s current five-car line-up holds a commanding lead in the 2018 US F4 team championship standings.
Howard says the further expansion to USF2000 furthers its mission of “advancing drivers from the karting ranks to junior open-wheel categories en route to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.”
Howard, who claimed the USF2000 championship in 2005 and added the Indy Lights title one year later, has already been involved as a driver coach for Pro Mazda race winner David Malukas and current USF2000 dominator Kyle Kirkwood.
Said Howard: “I am really excited to add USF2000 to my driver development ladder program. I have always wanted to be a part of the Mazda Road to Indy. It was just a case of timing.
“We are one step closer to our ultimate goal. I'm really happy to see our internal motorsports ladder working, taking drivers from karts to cars, then developing and supporting our drivers all the way to IndyCar."
Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions that runs the three MRTI categories, “We are very excited to welcome Jay and his team to the Mazda Road to Indy family. Jay runs a top-notch program and his driver development goals align perfectly with ours – to provide drivers with the resources necessary to climb the motorsports racing ladder to the top.
“He has had tremendous success in training and graduating karters into cars and the open-wheel arena, and we are very much looking forward to having him in our paddock.”