Charities and comebacks always make for great stories, which should make Emerson Newton-John’s return to the Freedom 100 in Indy Lights this year a perfect example.
Newton-John, who had been out of the cockpit for nearly a decade prior to his last race in 2012, when he raced the Freedom 100 last, will be in Team Moore Racing’s No. 22 entry for this year’s race. Italian Vittorio Ghirelli had been in the seat the first three race weekends of the year; Emerson will be teammate to Canadian rookie Zack Meyer in the team’s No. 2 car.
That year, despite the hiatus, Newton-John was sixth fastest in practice and qualified eighth in a field of 19 cars.
Now, Newton-John is rekindling his open-wheel career as well as using the opportunity to gain positive exposure for his cancer awareness charity, Pink and Blue for Two.
The race follows a very successful inaugural awareness walk during the OneAmerica 500 Festival 5k, led by his aunt and the charities primary Ambassador, Olivia Newton-John, along with Coach Chuck Pagano of the Colts.
“Getting back to Indy has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs to put it mildly,” he said. “It’s been almost 2 years since I have been in a racecar, and missing the open test on May 3rd isn’t ideal, but knowing that I’m going to be with a team as experienced and successful at IMS as Team Moore Racing, makes the task at hand that much more manageable.
“If the weather stays nice and we can get plenty of mileage in during practice, I am more than confident that we can be very competitive, he added. “This is also going to be a fantastic opportunity to create further public knowledge of our cancer awareness charity, Pink and Blue for Two, to the racing fraternity and its many fans.”
The team tested a couple weeks ago to focus on shock and Cooper Tire development.
Newton-John’s last series start came in Baltimore in 2012; a video of how that car looked is below.