INDIANAPOLIS – One day after 23-year-old rookie Oliver Askew announced he was leaving Arrow McLaren SP, the team announced Tuesday that 21-year-old Pato O’Ward would return next year.
O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champion, will once again drive the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. He is currently fifth in the championship standing with one race remaining, the Oct. 25 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“I am beyond excited to be racing with Arrow McLaren SP next season to build on what we have accomplished so far this year. Such a great group of people who truly have welcomed me like a second family,” O’Ward said Tuesday. “Given how much change I have seen in my career to this point, it is invaluable to get the opportunity to put down roots and build on a foundation year over year.”
This season, O’Ward has one pole position, three podiums and nine top 10 finishes.
“The entire team and I are thrilled to have Pato back in the car next year,” said Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt. “He has shown incredible form this year and has kept himself in the championship hunt all season long. I think he has the potential to compete at the highest level in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for a long time.”
Askew’s replacement will be announced in due course according to the team.