Thompson to Strap In for Jay Howard Driver Development
 October 29, 2021| 
  • Team News

INDIANAPOLIS - The annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test is back October 30-31, 2021 after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and TJ Thompson will be making his second Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship appearance at the event. After driving one day in the USF2000 car for HMD Motorsports in 2019, TJ is ready and excited to get back behind the wheel at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

This will be Thompson’s first time working with the esteemed Jay Howard Driver Development crew, who are coming off back-to-back championship seasons (USF2000 in 2020 and Indy Pro 2000 in 2021).

“I’m very excited to get to work with Jay and the team. They’re one of the best Road to Indy operations and I’m expecting to be able to go out and compete, especially now with some USF2000 experience already under my belt,” said Thompson.

His driving experience includes championship runs in go-karts, the US Legends Car series and experience on dirt in USAC Midgets. In 2021 while still hard at work in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Thompson tested at Gingerman Raceway (South Haven, MI) with the Miller-Vinatieri Motorsports team to get reacquainted with the USF2000 car.

The Connecticut-native returns to the Road to Indy with his long-time primary sponsor, Jeff Curran, of JJ Curran Crane (Detroit, MI). Thompson and Curran have been working together through the JJ Curran Crane Amatuer Athlete Program for two years and have their sights set on making starts in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2022. Curran also works with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as president of Fleet Cost & Care, a primary sponsor of Graham Rahal.

“Let’s just say TJ already knows his way around the paddock,” said Timmy Pagliuso of Pagliuso Sports. “TJ is not your typical ‘racer’. He is a full-time lead mechanic and pit crew member on the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team for Graham Rahal. It’s great to watch TJ grow his business relationship with Jeff. They work great together. This weekend will be a perfect opportunity to gauge if TJ is ready for a season commitment.”

Pagliuso Sports has been working with Thompson since 2019 to develop Thompson’s program into the USF2000 field.

The Chris Griffis Memorial Test will feature six on-track sessions for the USF2000 drivers, adding up to four and a half hours of valuable learning time for the drivers.

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