At a Wednesday morning press conference held on the Pit Lane at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR and USAC officials announced a long awaited partnership.
Beginning with the 2010 USAC National Drivers Champion, the driver will be awarded a scholarship to compete on all oval events on the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights schedule.
The USAC National Drivers Champion will be determined based on points earned in all three National Series - Silver Crown, Sprint and Midgets. Points will be tallied for the best 25 finishes and a Champion will be crowned.
Bryan Clauson currently leads the Championship with a 22 point lead over Levi Jones.
"As we look forward to the future of INDYCAR, we feel it is important that we embrace our roots. I'm pleased we have formed this partnership with USAC, which was founded by Tony Hulman and produced legendary champions such as A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford and Mario Andretti. This is an important initiative to continue the tradition of USAC oval racers competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I have listened to countless fans say we need more American drivers and I don't disagree, but I think it's more important to say we want the best American drivers in the world. I'm a firm believer in our official ladder system the Road to Indy. The experience the Road to Indy provides is essential for drivers to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series. We hope to have some significant changes in the near future that enhance and strengthen the Road to Indy." - INDYCAR CEO, Randy Bernard
"INDYCAR is the pinnacle of American open-wheel racing, and USAC is honored to have this opportunity to share this new relationship and build the Road to Indy through USAC. We look forward to extending our heritage with Indy car racing while presenting new, exciting opportunities for our participants"- USAC President and CEO, Kevin Miller