Levi Jones, a veteran sprint car driver and current USAC executive, was named director of the Indy Lights on Monday as the junior racing series readies for its transition to management by IndyCar.
Indy Lights is already a feeder system to the top open-wheel series in the United States but had been independently operated. Lights is considered the final step on the “Road to Indy” ladder and the champion each year earns a $1.3 million scholarship to use toward funding a seat in the Indianapolis 500 and other IndyCar races.
IndyCar will absorb Indy Lights and act as promoter and sanctioning body of the series beginning Nov. 1.
Jones since 2015 has worked various competition and executive positions with the United States Auto Club. He began as the national series competition director and in 2019 was promoted to USAC executive vice president.
Jones helped diversify the sanctioning body’s activity beyond open-wheel racing to youth racing, off-road competition, rally and sports car racing. He was also responsible for maintaining and executing annual rule books, managing sponsorship for each series, negotiating sanctioning agreements.
Jones over the summer was also the race director for Tony Stewart’s inaugural season of the SRX all-star series.
“My entire career has been in racing and moving to IndyCar and Indy Lights is the perfect next step,” Jones said. “When you’re in racing, you always want to be a part of the biggest and the best. This is a dream come true.”
Jones was 16 when he began racing 410 Sprint cars and went on to collect seven USAC national championships and a record five Sprint Car titles. He also won consecutive Silver Crown titles.
All but his 2005 Sprint title where won while driving for Tony Stewart Racing. Jones ended his USAC career with 35 feature wins between Sprint Car, Midget and Silver Crown.
“Because of his broad experience in and out of the cockpit, Levi is the perfect choice to become the director of Indy Lights,” said IndyCar president Jay Frye. “Levi is well respected in the racing industry and knows every angle of the sport as a driver, team owner, racetrack operator, and sanctioning body.”