Oliver Askew stole the show in Saturday’s Indy Lights race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, starting from the pole and leading all 30 laps en route to his fifth victory of the season.
“The car was really good,” Askew told NBC Sports following his victory. “Big day for us, and a big points day too.”
Askew, who currently holds a 35-point lead over Rinus VeeKay in the standings, has established himself not only as the top dog of the Indy Lights series, but also as a prime candidate for an IndyCar ride next season. The 22-year-old Floridan will test for Chip Ganassi Racing at Portland International Raceway on August 7.
Should Askew win the 2019 Indy Lights title, he will receive a $1 million prize that guarantees at least three NTT IndyCar Series starts next season – including the Indianapolis 500.
Ryan Norman finished the race in the second position, while VeeKay, who will also test at Portland on August 7 for Ed Carpenter Racing, finished third.
The lone caution of the race came out on lap 11 when Toby Sowery went off-course in Turn 12, hitting the tire barrier. Sowery walked away without a scratch, but his car suffered damage, ending his race.
The Indy Lights competitors will return to action tomorrow afternoon, with Race #2 beginning at 12:45 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.
Click here for full race results
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.