SPEEDWAY, Indiana — Force Indy will enter the 2022 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship with Ernie Francis Jr. driving the team's No. 99 car.
Francis, who is Haitian American, had three wins in his lone season in the Formula Regional Americas Championship and a second-place finish in the inaugural season of the Superstar Racing Experience. He's also a seven-time class champion in the Trans Am Series.
"This is an incredible opportunity," Francis said. "After getting a taste last year and beginning to learn what open-wheel racing is all about, I found myself wanting more. Open-wheel cars are incredible to drive. To know that I'll continue my education with Force Indy and only one step away from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES makes this unbelievably special. I cannot wait to get started."
Force Indy is an African American-led team that focuses on hiring men and women of color, including mechanics, engineers, staffers and drivers.
"I could not be more thrilled to promote our group to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship with Ernie Francis Jr. His work ethic and history of success speak for itself," said Rod Reid with Force Indy.
"It was inspiring to see the growth of Force Indy during their first season, and we will continue to support their progress and mission as the team continues on a path to compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES," said IMS owner Roger Penske.
Force Indy will make its Indy Lights series debut Feb. 25-27 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
There is a 14-race schedule for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires this season. The schedule has races in 11 key markets and three double headers, including Indianapolis.
The first doubleheader will be Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The schedule is as follows:
- Feb. 27 - Street of St. Petersburg
- May 1 - Barber Motorsports Park
- May 13 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) Race 1
- May 14 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) Race 2
- June 4 - Raceway at Belle Isle Park Race 1
- June 5 - Raceway at Belle Isle Park Race 2
- June 12 - Road America
- July 2 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
- July 23 - Iowa Speedway
- Aug. 7 - Streets of Nashville
- Aug. 20 - World Wide Technology Raceway
- Sept. 4 - Portland International Raceway
- Sept. 10 - WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 1
- Sept. 11 - WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 2
All races will be broadcast live on Peacock Premium, with additional coverage during race weekends provided by the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Start times for 2022 events will be announced at a later date.