Indy Lights champ Patricio O’Ward joins Carlin for 12 IndyCar events

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Indy Lights series champion Patricio “Pato” O’Ward has joined the Carlin team for 12 IndyCar events this season and will make his 2019 debut March 24 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

O’Ward also will race at Barber Motorsports Park, the streets of Long Beach, the Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500, the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader, Road America, the streets of Toronto, Iowa Speedway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Gateway Motorsports Park and Portland International Raceway.

He will be the team’s second entry in each race except for the Indy 500, in which O’Ward will be the team’s third entry with Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.

By winning the Indy Lights title, O’Ward earned a $1 million scholarship to advance to the NTT IndyCar Series with three guaranteed races, including the 103rd Indy 500.

O’Ward originally had planned to take the money to Harding Steinbrenner Racing, but the deal fell apart last month.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that Trevor Carlin has given me to drive for his team and Team Chevy,” O’Ward said in a release. “I’m just thankful that he and the whole Carlin team really believe in me and I’ll give it my all to show them that I’m ready to tackle any challenges ahead of us starting in a few weeks at COTA. I just don’t think I can properly express how excited I am for this opportunity. It’s been a very stressful past few weeks given my circumstances and it’s been a bit of a hustle trying to find a new home, but I couldn’t be happier about landing at Carlin.”

Said team principal Trevor Carlin: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with many talented drivers over the years, many of whom now race in the NTT IndyCar Series, Formula One and Formula E to name a few, and in Pato I really see a spark similar to some of our highest achieving alumni. He’s a hugely promising talent who deserves this opportunity and has a massive amount of potential.”

O’Ward, 19, began his racing career in go karts at 6. He moved into Indy LIghts full time last season, compiling nine victories and a series-record nine pole positions. In 2017, he also became the youngest Prototype Challenge class winner at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

Carlin is entering its second full season in IndyCar after three seasons in Indy Lights.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.