Ethan Ringel confirmed for Schmidt Peterson Indy Lights program

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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has confirmed its first driver for the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season in Ethan Ringel, a 20-year-old from Windermere, Fla.

Those Indy Lights anoraks may know Ringel’s name from a one-off start in Team Moore’s second car at St. Petersburg in 2013. He has open-wheel experience in the FIA GP3 Series and Atlantic Championship Series.

Jumping back into Indy Lights with the new car comes at a perfect time in Ringel’s career.

“I held off on Indy Lights last year because I wanted to wait for the new car,” Ringel said in a release. “The old car had a soft suspension that I didn’t love, and the new car suits my didn’t love, and the new car suits my driving style so much more. I can’t wait to get in these beautiful new cars to see what I can do. The specs look fantastic.”

Ringel has had a test with SPM, at Mid-Ohio in 2013, and was also encouraged to check out the team by former Indy Lights champion Jay Howard, who serves as his driver coach.

Schmidt is expected to run a multicar effort in 2015 with at least two and potentially as many as four cars on the grid.

Watch: Top 5 heartbreaks in Indy 500 history (video)

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As we near the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, NBC Sports will be counting down some of the top moments in the race’s illustrious history, right up until May 26.

Today’s countdown features the top five heartbreaks, from J.R. Hildebrand crashing on the final turn in 2011 to hand the win to Dan Wheldon, to Robby Gordon running out of fuel in 1999 and leading to Kenny Brack’s victory.

For more Indy 500 coverage, check out NBC Sports Gold for exclusive coverage, and don’t miss the race on NBC on May 26.