Myles Rowe scores historic first USF2000 victory for Force Indy


Myles Rowe became the first Black driver to win in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, completing a thrilling last-lap pass for victory in the middle race of a series tripleheader Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey.

The Georgia native and New York resident, who drives for the new Force Indy team, overcame wet conditions on the 2.25-mile track to seize the lead from points leader Kiko Porto on the last of 20 laps after starting 10th.

With his first victory, Rowe validated the support of 2018 Indy 500 winner Will Power, who has championed Rowe’s ability since racing against him in go-karts a few years ago.

“As I was coming to the finish, I had to radio my spotter (Jon Bouslog) and ask him, ‘Are we in the lead?’ He told me, ‘Keep going, keep going,’ ” Rowe said in a release Sunday. “I knew I was in second, but looking at my first win, I just didn’t believe it. Once I took the checkered, my first thought was, ‘I’m here.’ I can’t thank my parents so much for all the love, support and patience. Rod Reid, Jon, the whole team, Stu, Derrick, Zach I can’t thank them all enough. And of course, Roger Penske and Will Power. So many people who put me where I am, where Force Indy is today.”

As part of IndyCar’s Race for Equality and Change, Force Indy was formed last year in a technical support alliance with Team Penske.

Force Indy is led by African-American team principal Rod Reid, who has put an emphasis on hiring Black American men and women in all departments of the team (from office staff to mechanics to drivers such as Rowe, who was hired in February).

USF2000 is the first rung on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder system that helps cultivate and promote talent to the NTT IndyCar Series.

Myles Rowe victory
Myles Rowe celebrates with family members after his first USF2000 victory (Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy).

“Until you actually win one of these, you don’t know what you’re going to feel,” Reid said. “For us, the early part of that battle was reminiscent of St. Pete, when we were in fourth and going for third until we made a mistake. I was right there in Turn Eight and saw him battling for third and then for the lead, and I thought ‘can we do this, is this real?’

But this is why we do this, it’s a great feeling. The entire team did great – the crew in setting up the car, and Myles, managing tire wear. We’re so excited for everyone who worked so hard to be in this position.”

Said Rowe: “There’s been pressure, but it’s just about focusing on the present. There’s been a lot of attention, but also a lot of support. For me as a driver, all I can worry about is what I can do. It’s helped me control my emotions, control my actions and really be able to plot this path, and help plot the path for Force Indy. We’re going to keep going from here.”

Rowe’s victory came on what would have been the 100th birthday of NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott, the only Black driver to win in the premier Cup series.

Myles Rowe victory
Force Indy team principal Rod Reid and driver Myles Rowe share a moment after their victory (Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy).

Porto, from Recife, Brazil, finished second for DEForce Racing, and teammate Nolan Siegel, from Palo Alto, Calif., took third. Click here for the race results.

Series officials decreed a wet start, requiring the 23-car grid to begin on grooved Cooper tires. Several cars switched to slick tires as the course began to dry after the green.

Rowe patiently worked his way through the field, picking up the last three spots in the final four laps, including the winning pass in Turn 9.

“I haven’t had that many sessions in the wet, but for some reason, I seem to excel in these conditions,” Rowe said.

“I think it’s just extra confidence. We were aiming for a top-10 finish this weekend and our plan today was just to hit our marks, let other people make mistakes and see what could happen. I was able to pick people off like a chess game. I was able to be in guys’ mirrors and take advantage on the exit of corners. I knew Kiko was thinking championship so he was very respectful. I appreciate that.”

Myles Rowe victory
Myles Rowe in victory lane (Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy).

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”