Graphic: MDM Designs (Twitter)

IndyCar’s feeder series, Indy Lights, is usually home to some pretty damn good racing. Drivers who win the Lights championship are guaranteed a few races with an actual IndyCar team the next year—including the 500—so the competition is usually really tight and something to behold. This year, though, things have been a little… lackluster

Which isn’t to say the racing has been bad. We’ve had plenty of exciting moments—cars going flying through the air, tight racing between the entire field, you name it. The problem is, there have only been ten cars at most this season, and seven of them have been full-time participants. And that was really for less than a handful of races.

Thankfully, earlier on Wednesday, BN Racing announced that they’re going to be expanding from USF2000 into the Indy Lights field.

The team, based in Chicago, is a much needed boost for a series that very obviously looks like it’s been struggling. The feeder series did a great job of getting young drivers into the top levels of competition for 2018; unfortunately, that also meant that a lot of teams just couldn’t find or fund a driver to make participating this season worthwhile. The racing has been great, but it’s kind of sad to see a tiny field of cars dwarfed by, say, the grandiosity of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

BN Racing is looking to enter “at least one” Indy Lights car, according to Racer, alongside entries in every rung of the Road to Indy ladder.

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The team has been pretty damn successful since they entered USF2000 in 2017. Drivers David Malukas, Keith Donegan, and Toby Sowery have scored their fair share of pole positions, podiums, top six finishes, and 1-2s. After securing fourth place in the championship, team owner Bryn Nuttall decided that expanding was worth a shot.

“Not only is this a key step in moving forward as a racing team but with the extra personnel coming in, this will also strengthen my already established USF2000 and Pro Mazda teams, which is a very critical point for me. My aim is to have the capability of winning in every series we enter.

“I’m under no illusions on how tough 2019 in Indy Lights is going to be, but we’ve shown many times over the last 18 months what we are capable of, so let’s see what happens when March arrives.”

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There’s currently no word on drivers or testing plans, but it’s expected that those details will start coming to fruition in the next few weeks.

After the Road to Indy lost Mazda as a primary sponsor and the lack of cars, it’s looked like Indy Lights might be on the brink of extinction. That wouldn’t be a particularly great look for IndyCar, which has been doing its damnedest to prove its legitimacy as a race series.

Thankfully, the entrance of BN Racing seems to be a good sign. There are still people out there looking to invest in the series—and hopefully that means we’ll start seeing a more substantial field of young drivers competing for their $1.1 million prize.