Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Belardi Auto Racing has signed Shelby Blackstock for the 2017 Indy Lights Championship. The 26-year-old Nashville, Tenn., native joins the team from Andretti Autosport’s Lights squad, where he spent the past two seasons.
Blackstock tested with the team in Birmingham in early November, coming off a season in which he finished eighth overall in the championship standings. Shelby posted 13 top-10 and five top-five finishes, carding a best result of fourth at Barber Motorsports Park and in the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We tested Shelby during the summer of 2015 and he responded by immediately scoring his best finish of the year for the team he was with,” offered team owner Brian Belardi. “He worked extremely well with our engineers back then, and we were impressed in our recent test at Barber Motorsports Park as well. It’s exciting to have him signed to the team for 2017. He’ll be a great addition to our family.”
Blackstock has worked his way up the entire MRTI, beginning in USF2000 in 2012 before graduating to Pro Mazda in 2013, scoring a win at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“Going into the 2017 season, there are going to be many changes and challenges to overcome,” Blackstock said. “One of the biggest changes and, something I’m very excited about, is that I’ll be joining Belardi Auto Racing. I have a brief history with the team from 2015, which made the move from Andretti Autosport a bit easier.
“Belardi has proven to have quick cars and I really like how the team is organized. There will be a lot of different challenges in the 2017 season. The field will be very stout, as it has in the past, so I’m really excited to see how the team pushes me and how we tackle each challenge together! I’m very thankful and excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to get to work!”