A day after announcing Oliver Askew would be leaving the team next season, Arrow McLaren SP confirmed that teammate Pato O’Ward will be returning in its No. 5 Dallara-Chevrolet for the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series.
In his first full IndyCar season, O’Ward is ranked fifth in the points standings with three podium finishes. He was a serious contender at Road America (where he started on the pole position and led 43 laps in the July 12 race) and World Wide Technology Raceway (where he led 130 laps across the Aug. 29-30 doubleheader and notched consecutive top-four finishes).
With a sixth place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, O’Ward, 21, also was named the top rooke in the Indy 500.
“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, the 2018 Indy Lights champion, said in a release. “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.”
“The entire team and I are thrilled to have Pato back in the car next year,” Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt said in a release. “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.”
As it said in Monday’s release, the team will announce its full lineup for next year “in due course.”
After being replaced by Helio Castroneves at the Harvest Grand Prix Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Askew will race for Arrow McLaren SP in the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida. An IndyCar spokesperson said Tuesday that Askew, who has suffered from concussion symptoms, has yet to be cleared but remains on track to receive approval before next weekend.