Second-generation driver Boat to make Indy Lights debut

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Second-generation driver Chad Boat will make his Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires debut with Belardi Auto Racing when he joins the team for the oval event at Iowa Speedway on July 9.  

Additionally, the USAC standout will compete in the No. 84 Pristine Auction Mazda/Dallara-IL 15 at Gateway Motorsports Park on Aug. 26. Pristine Auction, a premier autographed sports memorabilia auction house in the United States, will serve as Boat's primary sponsor for both events.

“We’re extremely pleased to announce the addition of Chad Boat to our stable of drivers for the Iowa and Gateway Indy Lights oval races this summer,” said Belardi Auto Racing owner Brian Belardi. “It’s exciting to have a second-generation driver running with us, and we’re certainly looking forward to getting Chad on track in Iowa.”

The 25-year-old Boat, who earned the Rookie of the Year title in both the USAC National Midget and Sprint Car divisions, will add the two Indy Lights events to his full-time 2017 USAC National Midget schedule. The native of Phoenix, Arizona, who won the Belleville Midget Nationals in 2016, is following in the footsteps of his father and former Indy car driver, Billy Boat, the 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter and Texas Motor Speedway race winner. The elder Boat also competed in Indy Lights -- then the American Racing Series -- in 1986 and '87.

“I grew up watching my dad race Indy cars, so having the opportunity to run Indy Lights this year is absolutely surreal,” Chad Boat said. “I have to thank Belardi Auto Racing for giving me a shot behind the wheel of the No. 84 Dallara, as well as Pristine Auction for their continued support in my racing career. I can’t wait to get to Iowa Speedway.”

Boat, who has previously competed at Iowa Speedway in the stock car ranks, participated in a team test at the 0.894-mile Newton, Iowa oval on Tuesday night. The test, initially scheduled for today, was rescheduled to avoid expected inclement weather.

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