By: Tanner Watkins
November 12, 2018 | 10:19 AM
While it seemed a formality, Ohio native Ryan Norman surely breathed a sigh of relief today as the two-year Indy Lights veteran was announced for another season in IndyCar’s Triple-A series for 2019.
After finishing 4th in the 2018 Indy Lights championship and winning in the series for the first time last August, Norman continues to build great momentum towards a pivotal campaign next summer.
“I’m really excited to finally make it official that I’ll be returning to Andretti Autosport for my third season competing in Indy Lights,” said Norman earlier today. “We’ve built a solid foundation over the past two years and I’m ready to fight for wins, podiums and ultimately the championship, with such a great group of people who have become like a family to me.”
On Halloween, Open-Wheels spoke to Norman about his breakthrough victory at Gateway Motorsports Park and how it has sent him towards a “championship mindset” in 2019.
“I feel like it changed everything, to be honest,” Norman told Open-Wheels. “I think it not only reassured me that I can win at this level and compete against these guys, but I think it just it’s all confidence.
“This sport is very confidence-based and I feel like once you get the momentum, you can just carry it and continue to build with it and it helps you grow. I think it was definitely a huge, monumental point in my career where I was able to step up to that next level of growth and be able to do that.”
On top of winning his first race in Indy Lights last season, Norman added three podium finishes and a pole award in the season finale at Portland International Raceway.
Andretti Autosport president JF Thormann is excited to have a veteran driver in his Indy Lights line-up for 2019.
“We’re very happy that Ryan is rejoining us for his third season of Indy Lights,” Thormann said in an Andretti Autosport release. “We were pleased with his performance this past season, and his potential as a driver began to really shine after his win at Gateway.
“He’s right on track with his progression plan put together by his engineering team, and we feel strongly that he has what it takes to be a contender for the 2019 championship.”
The season-opening weekend for Indy Lights will be March 8-10 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, but teams will be on-track in just a few weeks when the series descends on Homestead-Miami Speedway for two days of testing on December 3-4.
Image courtesy of Mazda Road to Indy.