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Oliver Askew leaving Arrow McLaren SP after his rookie season in IndyCar

Oliver Askew leaving McLaren

Joe Skibinski

Oliver Askew will be leaving Arrow McLaren SP after the NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced in a release Monday.

The rookie was sidelined from the Oct. 2-3 race weekend doubleheader at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with concussion-like symptoms after a heavy crash in the Indianapolis 500.

Askew, who was replaced by Helio Castroneves at Indy, will return to the No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet for the Oct. 25 season finale if he is cleared by IndyCar to race int he Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Arrow McLaren SP said Askew is free to begin seeking “new opportunities” in the meantime. The team, which also employs fifth-ranked Pato O’Ward, said its 2021 driver lineup “will be shared in due course.”

“We believe that Oliver has a great deal of talent and potential for the future. He has had an incredibly difficult rookie year, with a lack of overall track time and recent medical issues,” Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt said in a statement. “We want to give Oliver the time to pursue new opportunities for 2021 and the ability to race at St Pete. Come the end of the year, we will wish Oliver the very best in all of his future endeavors and he will always be a friend of the team.”

Askew won the 2019 Indy Lights championship with seven victories and 15 podiums in 18 starts.

During his first season in IndyCar, he had three top 10s, including a career-best third place and a sixth in the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.

“It’s been a steep learning curve this year but I appreciate all of the experience I have gotten with Arrow McLaren SP,” Askew said in a release. “I’ve certainly had to develop very quickly as a driver and I know I have shown my speed and capability when able to this season. However, I think it makes sense to pursue the next chapter of my career outside the team. I am grateful for all the support I’ve received from my crew, the team and all the fans. I wish the entire team well in the future.”