By: Spencer Neff
March 10, 2020 | 8:00 AM
At 23 years of age, Oliver Askew is the oldest of this year’s rookie class for the NTT IndyCar Series.
Before his debut in this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, here’s a look at Askew’s path to IndyCar.
The native of Jupiter, Florida began his racing pursuits at the age of eight. Running at the Moroso Motorsports Park (now Palm Beach International Raceway), Askew caught the attention of Ocala Gran Prix.
Following the encounter, the young Floridian joined the outfit to further his karting career, beginning in 2010. Two years later, he won the Junior Karting Championship on the Florida Winter Tour.
In 2013, Askew found even more success – winning the Pan-Am and US Grand National Senior Karting Championships. A year later, he continued to add to his karting accomplishments with a title in the Senior Karting division of the Florida Winter Tour.
For 2015, Askew moved on to PSL Karting and KMS Europe. Competing in events across the globe, he won the BNL Championship in Belgium and the US Open. Later that year, the young karting star made the switch to single-seater racing.
Contesting the final six events of the Formula Chinese Masters F3 Series, Askew nabbed two podium finishes in three races. In 2016, he earned the prestigious Team USA Scholarship.
As a result, Askew raced in England and contested the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy, earning two podiums in Formula Ford and a second-place finish in the Walter Hayes Trophy.
Road to Indy Accolades
By virtue of his Team USA Scholarship, Askew was invited to the inaugural Road to Indy $200k Scholarship Shootout at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in December. After winning the event, Askew was awarded a full-season ride in USF2000 for the 2017 season.
After seven race victories and eight pole positions, Askew and Cape Motorsports won the 2017 Championship. For his efforts, Askew earned a second scholarship made the jump to Indy Pro 2000 along with Cape Motorsports.
In the final weekend of the season, Askew took the win during the first round at Portland International Raceway in addition to three poles, resulting in a third-place finish in the standings.
Following an impressive season as the only driver in the series to complete every lap, Askew was able to move up to Indy Lights. For 2019, Andretti Autosport tabbed Askew to drive for the team.
On the strength of seven race victories and seven pole positions, Askew earned the 2019 Indy Lights Championship.
Following tests earlier in the season with Chip Ganassi Racing at Portland in July, Askew had earned the Road to Indy Scholarship which would guarantee a ride for three NTT IndyCar Series races in 2020, including the 104th Indianapolis 500.
On October 30, Arrow McLaren SP announced the addition of Askew and 2018 Indy Lights Champion Patricio (Pato) O’Ward for their full-time IndyCar lineup.
“It’s a dream come true to be joining Arrow McLaren SP for my first year in IndyCar,” Askew proclaimed in the October 30 press release.
“The new team brings together three great partners and it’s an honor to be representing them in this new chapter for the team and for my career. This is an exciting new challenge for me and the next natural step after winning the Indy Lights title this year. I can’t wait to get started.”
Upon the announcement, Askew’s new Car Owners spoke glowingly about his prospects.
“With our background in Indy Lights, I’ve followed Oliver and Pato closely over the last few years on the Road to Indy,” Sam Schmidt emphasized.
“I couldn’t think of a better pairing as we write the first chapter in Arrow McLaren SP’s story.”
McLaren Racing Sporting Director Gil De Ferran said of the duo, “Proven winners and exciting prospects, I have no doubt that they will form an excellent pairing as we take on the 2020 season.”
On February 11-12, Askew conducted his first open test as an NTT IndyCar Series driver.
When the series went to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, Askew posted the seventh-fastest time over the two days. Among the drivers slated to run a full-season schedule, Askew was the quickest.
This weekend, Askew will look to continue his successful career path as an NTT IndyCar Series driver.
Header image by Stephen King/INDYCAR.