Oliver Askew is Indy Lights champion for 2019!
Oliver Askew (Andretti Autosport) is the Indy Lights champion for 2019! The 22-year-old racer from Florida secured the championship title with one more race to go at season’s finale at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Askew finished fourth in the first race of the weekend, the Race 17 of the season, to enter the last race with the 28-point advantage (461:433) over the 19-year-old Juncos Racing’s Dutchman Rinus VeeKay (Van Kalmthout), who won the race.
Askew took no risk and finished fourth, securing enough points for the championship title and $1.1 million scholarship which would guarantee him entry into a minimum of three IndyCar Series races in 2020, including the 104th Indianapolis 500.
After a successful career in karting, Oliver Askew switched to open-wheel auto racing in 2016, winning the Team USA Scholarship in the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy $200K USF2000 Scholarship Shootout. After winning that event at Laguna Seca, Askew went on to win the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, which earned him another Mazda scholarship to step up to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship. There, he was third, behind Rinus VeeKay and Parker Thompson, then stepping to Indy Lights in 2019. He clinched seven victories over the season, securing the title even before the last race.
“Looking back nine months ago, I didn’t even have a ride, and it was a struggle to put it together since we didn’t have the scholarship from 2018. If you had told me then that I would be the Indy Lights champion, I wouldn’t have believed you. When we won the race in St. Louis, it began to sink in that this was ours to lose. To do this for Andretti Autosport, back to back champions, I’m so privileged to have raced with them this year. I’ve learned so much, and I’m ready to go IndyCar racing next year.
“I’ve been so lucky in my Road to Indy career. The Andretti system was very similar to the Cape Motorsports system, so they prepared me very well, as well as the Andretti team prepared me to test an Indy car. That’s the beauty of the Road to Indy: each step is in sync so to go from karts to cars in four years is crazy. But honestly, I’m already thinking about tomorrow, how to execute to be on top of the podium tomorrow. That’s all I’m thinking about – we can celebrate tomorrow night!”, Oliver Askew said.
The last race of the season follows on Sunday with Rinus VeeKay starting from pole position again and sharing the front row with the new champion.
Photos: Indy Lights, Andretti Autosport,