Newman Wachs Racing, which next year is returning to open-wheel racing for the first time since 2009, has hired Dakota Dickerson for USF2000 in 2017, and will graduate with him to Pro Mazda in 2018.
Team manager Brian Halahan said: “Having Dakota be part of our program is huge. When I started looking at drivers, I had to make sure we found someone who could be fast on track and yet represent the team, in a professional manner. After seeing what he did for Mazda, I knew I had to chase him.
“My discussions with Dakota started immediately after I announced the team, back in August. Once we tested him, I saw how he gelled with the team, and I knew, right there and then, that it would work.”
In 2015, Dickerson took five wins in the Skip Barber Summer Series, was a multiple race winner in SCCA Spec Mazda Miata and won the Skip Barber Championship Shootout. That earned him a $200,000 scholarship from Mazda Motorsports for the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, in which he raced for Afterburner Autosport.
Despite being without a teammate for most of the year, he finished ninth in the championship with a best result of fourth at Toronto.
“I am extremely excited to be a part of the Newman Wachs Racing team,” stated the 19-year-old Californian. “Once Brian had announced the return of NWR, we started discussing how we could set up a test day to see how we could work together.
“I worked extremely well with Alan O’Leary, our engineer, along with the rest of the team. This all led to the discussion of a multi-year program. “A two-year commitment to the team is something that is extremely exciting and I believe sets up both NWR and myself for great success in the coming years. I look forward to representing the team and am working hard to come out strong for the opening race at St.Petersburg.”