iHigh Partner Promoting Diversity in Motorsports
August 13, 2012News from iHigh.com
Lexington, KY --iHigh broadcaster Chris Miles is helping minority drivers reach not just the Starting Grid, but also the finish line.
In addition to producing the Rival Sports-Indiana and Rival Sports-Kentucky websites on iHigh, Miles is also the founder of Starting Grid, Inc., an organization dedicated to helping promote minorities in the motorsports industry.
Starting Grid recently announced that driver Chase Austin will partner with A.J. Foyt's racing team to try and become just the third African-American to compete in the Indianapolis 500.
"It is incredibly gratifying for me to have Starting Grid associated with such an American racing icon," Miles said. "I am extremely proud for Chase to receive this tremendous opportunity to race for A.J. Foyt Racing as well. Chase has performed admirably with his limited experience in open-wheel cars, and I am completely confident in Chase's ability to settle into the big cars with no problem."
Austin is no stranger to breaking new ground. In 2011, he became the first African-American driver to race in the Firestone Indy Lights series with Willy T. Ribbs Racing.
Austin has been racing since the age of 8, and at 14 was the youngest driver to ink a NASCAR development contract. He has raced in numerous NASCAR Nationwide Series races, as well as in the Indy Lights and Truck Series.
Austin's historic bid to compete in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 is part of a three-year motorsports diversity initiative between Starting Grid and American Honda, which will supply the team's engines.
"Words simply cannot express how appreciative I am for American Honda's support of our motorsports diversity initiatives over the past two years, and I am thrilled to have the defending Indy 500 winning engine powering us toward history."
In 1991, Willy T. Ribbs became the first African-American driver at Indy, followed by George Mack in 2002.
About Starting Grid
In 1994, New Albany, Indiana native Chris Miles founded Starting Grid in an effort to help diversify the motorsports industry by developing and implementing motorsports programs that have crossover appeal and yet capitalize on the ever-growing interest from minority demographics. Following stints racing professionally in open-wheel competition, and as a driving instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, Miles turned his attention to television, where he combined his love of motorsports with entertainment. Among his many accomplishments were becoming the first African-American to host a national racing magazine show; “Inside CART” that aired on both FOX Sports Net and ESPN2, as well as taking honors as an award-winning producer for his “Black History Month” vignettes created in 2004 for SPEED TV. For more information, please visit Starting Grid, Inc. online at http://www.startinggrid.com.
Based in Lexington, Ky., iHigh.com, Inc. is the nation's Number One digital television network for high school sports. It provides free Web services to schools, students and other youth organizations around the world to post live television-quality video, stories, photos, video clips, schedules and other information to a page customized with the group's colors and logos. Each iHigh.com school and youth group can generate revenue through video advertisements and sales of merchandise on its iHigh.com website at no cost to the school. For more information, go to http://www.iHigh.com.