The Oval Of A Lifetime

The Oval Of A Lifetime

motorsport journalist

Janis Adams

Motorsport Journalist

His “fantastic dream” has come true at the age of 21. For Sting Ray Robb, running the 200 laps of the greatest race spectacle has been on toure for nearly the last two decades. Dale Coyne Racing and Rick Ware Racing announced the signing of Sting Ray as their final driver for the 2023 IndyCar Series. Sting Ray just finished his second season on the Indy Lights circuit that saw him finish with one win and eight podium finishes in 14 races.

He always knew this was his destination. The Indianapolis 500.

Sting Ray is a lot like the Indy 500. Indy didn’t ever become the greatest spectacle in racing, it simply was from the first time it was run in 1911. Like Sting Ray, who never became a racecar driver, he simply was - from the time he asked for a racecar and received a little pedal red Corvette when he was three, and raced competitively for the first time at the age of 5.

“I never thought of anything else but racing, it was always there in my life.” Sting Ray stated as a fact. “When I realized last year while racing Indy Lights that I was going to make it to the 500 I really didn’t have words to explain how I felt. I still don’t think I can.”

He is driven. And, backed by the two most supportive people in his life. His parents. 

His mother, Kimmie Serrano, who he refers to as his “Momager.” “She is the best, and she knows me in a way that others don’t, so she sees what is best for me and my racing career. She provides balance. Perspective.”

His father, Larry Robb is his greatest fan, “My Dad has been to every single one of my races except one, and that was when he was in the hospital. Even while he was there he was watching every turn and straight-away and giving in the moment analytics.” 

Sting Ray says that the driver who captivates his thoughts and whose wet track races he cannot stop watching - especially the Estoril Grand Prix - is none other than the famed Ayrton Senna. Senna, with a beginning much like Sting Ray's, began racing karts at the age of 4. “Senna had an inspired focus,” said Sting Ray. His process of analyzing the race, the road and every detail, explains Sting Ray, is why he credits him with being his favorite driver. 

With his chosen mindset, and accrued acumen in driving, Sting Ray says there is still a huge battle in and of its own. A physical one. 

Sting Ray Robb - The Thermal Club - Indy Car Test

The race, he explains, has to be prepared for as any athlete prepares for their ultimate game. With approximately three grueling hours of drive time, he has to be fit. The temperatures are extreme so his body has to run like a machine, and his muscle endurance has to be like that of a heavy lifter. The pressure and exertion on his neck and shoulders is grueling. Given this, beyond spending hours on the track he spends many hours in the gym to build stamina and strength.  

With speeds besting 220 MPH, Sting Ray says he plans to never just cruise or hit a sweet spot in the race. He believes he has to race at full throttle - every moment as if the race has just begun - with full focus for each of the 500 miles. For him, it will be constant high-intensity. 

His racing mind has proved to be a winning one since he remains the only Triple Crown winner – having won the Florida Winter Tour Championship, the CanAm Championship and the Challenge of the Americas Championship all in the same year, a feat no one of any age has been able to achieve. 

With those accolades and accomplishments behind him, he says the  “vibe” of Indy is what he has been craving most. WIth over 300,000 in attendance, Sting Ray says it’s something you - whether driver or spectator - can only feel from the race on Brickyard in Speedway, IN.

For the race on Sunday, May 28, Sting Ray says his goal is to finish every lap on lap concluding on the lead lap. With distinct humility but self-assuredness, he said he feels this is an accomplishable goal.

So on that early Sunday morning when you hear these words belted out, “Lady and Gentlemen start your engines ….” get ready to watch the ride of your life. Keep your eyes on Sting Ray. The man who will one day become the legend, and stand on the podium and gulp a bottle of milk, but who knows that his ultimate validation comes through his faith in his Lord Jesus Christ.

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