INDIANAPOLIS - It was announced today that Mazda Road to Indy standout Shelby Blackstock will graduate from Pro Mazda to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship for the 2015 season; the 24-year-old remains with Andretti Autosport, entering his fourth year with the Indianapolis-based team.
"I am very happy to be back with the Andretti Autosport team for the 2015 Indy Lights season," Blackstock said. "I'm extremely excited to test the new IL-15 and to see if all the great expectations are true. I want to thank Andretti Autosport for giving me the opportunity to be in one of its cars this year - this team is like a second family to me. I hope there is a lot of success to come from a completely fresh season."
The Nashville, Tenn. native captured one win, three pole positions, 13 podiums and 18 top-five finishes throughout two seasons in Pro Mazda (2013, 2014). Blackstock becomes the third driver to take the next step up the Mazda Road to Indy through Andretti Autosport's Pro Mazda program to its Indy Lights outfit (Zach Veach, 2013; Matthew Brabham, 2014). The North Carolina resident will go back to his racing roots by using the first number of his racing career, piloting the No. 51 Starstruck entry.
"Shelby has been with us for some time now, and he's put in a lot of hard work to make the step from Pro Mazda to Indy Lights happen," Andretti Autosport's Chief Operating Officer JF Thormann noted. "We are all very excited to keep Shelby in the Andretti Autosport family and look forward to watching his success continue during this new chapter of his career with us."
Joining the two-time Indy Lights championship-winning team, Blackstock marks Andretti's official confirmation of Indy Lights contention for 2015. The upcoming season will see the race debut of the new Dallara IL-15. With winter testing gearing up soon, the Indy Lights calendar kicks off on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. on March 28.
### About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport boasts a wide racing portfolio rooted in tradition and designed for success. Together with Andretti Formula E and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights and the Pro Mazda Championship, along with entries in the FIA Formula E Championship and Global Rallycross. The company boasts four IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012), two Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one Pro Mazda championship (2013), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has three times captured victory at the famed Indianapolis 500 (2005, 2007, 2014). To share in the Andretti story, please visit online at AndrettiAutosport.com or AndrettiTV.com and follow along on Twitter via @FollowAndretti and @AndrettiFE.