INDIANAPOLIS -- Roth Racing, the first team to take
advantage of the Indy Racing League's new incentive program, has
hired former Indy Pro Series champion Jay Howard for the entire
16-race season in 2008.
He will join team owner-driver Marty Roth in the new two-car
"These partial seasons are very difficult and we focused our
efforts this year on marketing and building the team from that
standpoint rather than running around the track," Roth said
Wednesday. "Since Indy [in May], we've been developing a plan to
expand and go with a two-car program because they are just so much
stronger as far as team performance. Jay Howard was just a natural
In an effort to draw more participation, the IRL announced a new
purse structure in October, guaranteeing at least $1.2 million for
each car competing the entire schedule.
Howard was the 2006 Indy Pro Series champion and drove in three
IndyCar races last season. Roth, also a graduate of the IRL's
developmental program, has made only nine IndyCar starts. The team
recently moved its Indianapolis operation to the former Tony
Stewart Racing facility and hired veteran race engineer David
"I couldn't have asked to walk into a better situation,"
Howard said. "Marty definitely is a man of his word and he
definitely is 110 percent into this. It might take a year for
everyone to sort of settle in and me get more experience with
things like pit stops, but I've been training unbelievably hard.
I'm really fired up."