Askew (left) joins Pigot, Newgarden and Alberico. Photo: Rising Star Racing

Oliver Askew formally confirmed on Rising Star Racing program

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INDIANAPOLIS – With five wins from six races to kick off the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season with Cape Motorsports, Oliver Askew has been next-level awesome to kick off his career on the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires.

The talented 20-year-old Floridian has been confirmed Thursday as the next member of the Rising Star Racing initiative, which supports young American drivers on their path to the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Askew joins current Rising Star Racing drivers Spencer Pigot, in his second season in IndyCar and Neil Alberico, in his second season in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires ranks. Josef Newgarden has been Rising Star Racing’s mentor in the framework.

Quick success last year occurred for Askew as he won the Team USA Scholarship, then embarked on a whirlwind winter where he starred at the Walter Hayes Trophy Grand Final – he finished second – then won Mazda’s USF2000 Scholarship shootout competition at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in December.

“We’re very excited to have Oliver (Askew) joining the RSR family,” said RSR founder Art Wilmes. “We haven’t added a driver since we first formed in 2013, which speaks to our assessment of Oliver and his potential in American open wheel racing.”

“Rising Star Racing is a very unique program that has been incredibly beneficial for guys like me as they pursue their dreams of becoming professional race car drivers,” Askew said. “I’ve always wanted to be part of this program, and I feel very privileged and fortunate to have been brought on. I look up to drivers like Josef Newgarden, and to have a chance to follow in his footsteps at RSR is something I can’t wait to do.”

Scott Dixon fastest on the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice

Indy 500 practice Dixon
James Black/IndyCar
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Scott Dixon was fastest on the second day of Indy 500 practice Thursday, turning a lap at 226.102 mph in his No. 9 Dallara-Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Takuma Sato was second, followed by Marco Andretti, Conor Daly and rookie Alex Palou.

The rest of the top 10 were: Colton Herta, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe, Fernando Alonso and James Davison.

THURSDAY PRACTICE: Click here for Day 2 speeds at Indianapolis

COMBINED SPEEDS: Click here for the overall speeds from the first two days

The session had one incident as Alonso crashed with just less than an hour left in the session. The Arrow McLaren SP driver was optimistic that the car could be repaired without a backup.

Among the other notables on the speed chart Thursday: Ryan Hunter-Reay (11th); Tony Kanaan (14th); Helio Castroneves (16th); Josef Newgarden (18th); Graham Rahal (19th); Will Power (23rd); Alexander Rossi (26th) and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (27th).

Felix Rosenqvist (24th) and rookie Dalton Kellett turned the most laps (141) around the 2.5-mile oval.

Teams mostly focused on race setup Thursday as they will receive 80 extra horsepower in the “Fast Friday” practice that will feature speeds above 230 mph for qualifying Saturday and Sunday.

The Indy 500 will take place Aug. 23; coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the green flag at 2:30 p.m.

HOW TO WATCH THE INDY 500 ON NBCDetails for the Aug. 23 race

DAILY INDY 500 SCHEDULEClick here for all on-track activity in August at Indy