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Kalkhoven, Vasser thank fans, confirm end of KV Racing

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KV Racing Technology’s lifespan as a Verizon IndyCar Series team is at its official end.

The team confirmed in a release on Thursday it will be supporting Juncos Racing and team principal Ricardo Juncos as it prepares for its step up into IndyCar from the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires.

KV started its lifespan as PK Racing in 2003, and went through various iterations (PKV Racing, KV Racing Technology, KV/AFS Racing, KVSH Racing) through 2016.

However, the team only barely answered the bell for 2016, with Sebastien Bourdais and HYDROXYCUT support being announced the week of the Phoenix International Raceway test. Bourdais left for Dale Coyne Racing following the end of 2016 and KV’s future became a talking point throughout this offseason.

With KV’s departure, it leaves Dale Coyne Racing as the only team left who transferred over from Champ Car in 2008 still active in 2017.

Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven. Photo courtesy KV Racing Technology
Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven. Photo courtesy KV Racing Technology

Here are the statements as issued by KV Racing Technology racing co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser:

“I want to thank all those who have written to express their appreciation of the efforts of KV Racing Technology during the last 14 years,” said Kalkhoven. “However as I approach 73, I feel I can no longer give the team the effort and support it and the team members deserve.

“I have really enjoyed my time in the series, helping with reunification and of course winning the greatest spectacle in racing… the Indianapolis 500!

“It is my firm belief that the series is on a major upswing under the leadership of Mark Miles and Jay Frye and has a bright future. I remain committed to help in any way I can, particularly in encouraging new owners and sponsors. In particular Ricardo Juncos, to whom we will be offering our support.

“To all the fans who follow the series, and cheered for KVRT, my heartfelt thanks and please spread the good word about the fantastic sport we have.”

Vasser said, “First and foremost I want to thank all the fans who have supported the team over the years. I also want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven for giving me the special and unique opportunity to transition from a driver to a team owner while I was still driving.

“I am very proud to have been a part of this team and I will always cherish all the great people and drivers we worked side-by-side with to achieve our successes.

“It has been a journey of many ups and downs, but I will always remember winning the 2013 Indy 500.

“IndyCar racing has been a part of my life for 25 years, it is in my soul and it will be interesting to see where it takes me from here.”

Helio Castroneves will replace ailing Oliver Askew for IndyCar at IMS

Helio Castroneves replacing Askew
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Helio Castroneves will return to the NTT IndyCar Series next weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, replacing Arrow McLaren SP driver Oliver Askew in the No. 7 Dallara- Chevrolet.

The team announced in a Thursday release that Askew wasn’t cleared by the IndyCar medical team after reporting “a balance and coordination issue” after the Sept. 12-13 race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer reported that Askew has been experiencing the concussion-like symptoms since his Aug. 23 wreck in the Indy 500.

Askew was placed in IndyCar’s Return to Racing Protocol. The rookie has endured an up-and-down season, suffering another hard crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the July 4 race on the road course. He also finished third and sixth on back-to-back races at Iowa Speedway in July.

“This was an incredibly tough call but I have to follow the advice of the INDYCAR Medical Team and my doctors,” Askew said in the release. “My priority right now is focusing on my health. Despite not being in the car, I will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Harvest GP, giving whatever insight and support to Arrow McLaren SP that I can.”

Castroneves will be driving this weekend at Mid-Ohio for Team Penske in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner has said he actively is seeking a ride for the 2021 season in IndyCar or IMSA with the demise of Penske’s DPi program as Acura switches to new teams next year.

Here’s the release from Arrow McLaren SP:

Arrow McLaren SP driver Oliver Askew will withdraw from the INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix, after being declared not fit to drive by the INDYCAR Medical Team.

Following the INDYCAR race at Mid-Ohio, Oliver reported a balance and coordination issue, which triggered an examination from the INDYCAR Medical Team. As a result, Oliver is not medically cleared to race and is subject to INDYCAR’s Return to Racing Protocol.

“This was an incredibly tough call but I have to follow the advice of the INDYCAR Medical Team and my doctors. My priority right now is focusing on my health,” Askew said. “Despite not being in the car, I will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Harvest GP, giving whatever insight and support to Arrow McLaren SP that I can.”

Askew will be replaced in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet by Helio Castroneves for the upcoming doubleheader Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

“The welfare of Oliver, our team members and fellow competitors is paramount,” said Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt.

“We therefore support Oliver and the decision of INDYCAR. Withdrawing to focus on his health and recovery is the right thing to do.”

Helio will join Pato O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, to complete the team’s driver lineup in Indianapolis.

“First and foremost, we wish Oliver the best and that he is able to take time to recover,” said Helio. “I look forward to getting back on track and helping to build on the great progress that Arrow McLaren SP has made this year.”