Race Weekend Essentials: IndyCar hopeful and rising star Myles Rowe
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#99 Myles Rowe, Pabst Racing w/ Force Indy, Penske Entertainment,
If you’re looking for one of the most fun personalities in a motorsport paddock these days, you’d be pushed to beat Myles Rowe, the IndyCar hopeful who also dabbles in photography and would love to be a storyteller in Hollywood one day.
Pabst Racing, Force Indy driver Rowe had been out of racing for years after running out of the budget to compete, but in 2020 Penske Entertainment announced Race for Equality and Change which put Rowe back in single-seaters.
He won a race in his first season in 2021 and almost won the USF2000 title last year, and now leads the championship in the next category up on the ladder, the USF Pro 2000 series. If he wins that, will give him a budget to race in IndyCar’s feeder series, Indy NXT.
One of his biggest supporters is reigning IndyCar champion Will Power who has given Rowe advice on his impressive rise up the ladder.
Perhaps Rowe would have always chased aspirations outside of motorsport even without his long break from racing, but it’s certainly made him a driver with interesting hobbies that you don’t see through the rest of the paddock.
Podium Life goes behind the scenes to find out what Rowe’s racing must-haves are, and to talk a bit about his life outside racing, too.
Is there anything you absolutely have to have in your racing bag, other than the obvious essentials?
My speaker. It’s called a UE Roll. It’s a circular, really flat speaker so you can put it in your luggage. They have bigger ones that aren’t so travel-proof.
But anytime I’m around the track, I have my AirPods and I’m always listening to music, man. I overthink a lot. A lot of my speed in the recent year – between the second half of last year and start of this year – has come from like learning to think about nothing, think about less in the car so I can drive better.
It starts coming towards the weekend. I like running through all these situations in your head and such and music helps me not to do that. I listen to practically everything. All the way from indie music, alternative, alternative rock, sometimes R&B. And then recently I’ve been super big on Elvis.
Is that because of the recent movie?
Oh my god, I loved the movie. The movie did do it.
Well, it was kind of a combination of two things, it was the movie, which was really second, but the main thing was because my girlfriend listens to a lot of Elvis because her mom used to listen to a lot of Elvis so she always has all these Elvis songs that her parents used to play in the house.
I started listening to him and, there’s this one collection of an album that’s like five and a half hours long. And I was on a six-hour car drive and I literally went through the whole entire thing. It wasn’t like I was trying to, like I could just listen to it.
I have a lot of artists where I can listen for a long time. But for some reason, I haven’t been able to listen to a single artists like I do Elvis.
Some drivers are superstitious, are you, and do you carry anything for that?
My superstitions are borderline crippling!
I have to wear my socks a certain way, I have a certain pair of socks for a certain day. I have a certain pair of underwear for a certain day.
When you have a race when the things you did that day, they come with you. Like I have a certain sandwich I get at Subway before I go race. It’s a spicy Italian with all the stuff on it.
A big thing is a lot of my friends, they’ve given me these stones, like obsidian and clear quartz, my girlfriend’s given me little medallions, little Mayan things, Mayans that mean success and stuff, little Greek guys for protection.
Even this morning before I left I hold them and just take a moment.
It doesn’t really matter, I can do without them. I know that, but it’s just like extra security.
Routine is super helpful. The race weekend is a puzzle, you try to complete it before you get to the race. And the race is really like the last couple of pieces.
But it’s that same sort of puzzle, just a different picture every weekend. It’s good to be in a rhythm to figure out where to start and how to kind of carry the momentum.
You get pretty beat up on race weekends but you’re also training a lot between races, is there anything you use to help with that?
I don’t do anything too crazy right now. It might get more crazy next year when I’m hopefully doing Indy NXT, the only thing I do is just drink, I don’t even have a singular protein shake, I’ll drink Muscle Milk.
Honestly, it’s whatever protein shake they have at the deli that I’m at. There’s this protein shake called Lean Body, which I actually don’t really like that much. But they’ll have that at the deli sometimes so I’ll use that.
Do you have much input into your helmet and suit for a season or does the team tend to decide that stuff for you?
I don’t necessarily need to put in anything where it’s for practical use for the helmet and suits.
Design-wise, I like to have input. The first suit I had a little bit, but this suit, I had some input, which I really like.
Sparco has been running with us since the start which I love. Great people, supply the gear to keep me safe.
I want to have more inclusivity in the designs for the suit, and then eventually for the Bell helmet. Bell have been great, really easy to work with.
I just don’t know, the longer I run the plain black with no design and the closer I get to IndyCar the more I think I just want to always wear that because the true professional drivers, they always have colours on their helmet.
I wanted my helmet painted for forever, but I never got it painted. But that’s how things happen, not how you expect them to be like.
Maybe I won’t paint it. But I want to change the air intakes and the lining and the cushion and the colours in that and just keep it black and then that’s kind of like my little touch, and Bell is great for those finishing touches. And then you see the black, it’s easy to stand out. So that’s what I’m thinking of doing.
Are there any other brands you love or that are always in your bag? I know you like your sunglasses…
I love sunglasses. My aunt is the reason why I have these, I don’t have the money to afford these! [points at his Tom Ford sunglasses, pictured above].
I freaking love Tom Ford, man. After I got these glasses, I realised the impact he’s had on the fashion industry. Super cool, stuff he’s done. So I’m really passionate about Tom Ford.
I don’t have any Louis Vuitton, I’m talking about fashion now, but the change that they make throughout the years recently, it’s been really cool. It’s super inspiring to see them always developing and staying on top of the ball. So I’d like to have some Louis Vuitton stuff, preferably given!
Lewis Hamilton is the only racing example I can think of but he’s pushed the brands he works with to be better and more sustainable. Is that something you can see yourself doing in the future?
I definitely can see myself doing that, I will be doing that one day, it’s just a matter of, what teams, what companies are individually right for me, and what we’re doing here in IndyCar and how they like my personality.
Because, my personality is different from Lewis and he carries a certain vibe, maybe some companies that work with him won’t work for me, but maybe a company that likes my vibe, won’t work for him, sort of a thing.
So yeah, I definitely see myself doing that in the future. Yeah, that’s cool.
You’re super into photography, is there anything you use specifically for that that you always carry?
Yeah, so the camera I use, it’s called a Ricoh, which actually I’d never heard of before two-three years ago. I don’t know their whole base of cameras but as far as I know, it’s like the small little point and shoot cameras.
But you can adjust all the different settings like ISO, shutter aperture, all the white balance settings that you would in a DSLR. But it’s just like really mini and compact, you can put it in your pocket, it’s crazy, but super crisp, like stunning photos. Really good photos. So I love that camera. I love that brand.
I’m such a lucky guy because they wanted to play Mario Kart once on the DS and they can’t get enough of it. No exaggeration. We’ll play like seven race championships and they’ll just want to go again. Dude, I’m so lucky, it’s the best time.
The clothes I wear right now are mostly thrifted but I’m really into Doc Martens those are essential for me, especially in the city having boots like that. Dickies are great for the skating. I’m not a big brand guy unless I’m like really passionate about it.