For the second consecutive NTT IndyCar Series race, Oliver Askew will be a replacement driver as Ed Carpenter Racing announced Rinus VeeKay will miss this weekend at Road America.
In a statement late Tuesday night, the team announced that VeeKay “underwent successful outpatient surgery this afternoon to repair a fractured left clavicle” that he suffered during a bike riding accident Monday.
ECR said VeeKay wasn’t cleared to return at Road America, so Askew will substitute in the No. 21 Dallara-Chevrolet. Askew made his 2021 IndyCar debut Sunday in place of Felix Rosenqvist, who missed the second race of the Detroit Grand Prix after being hospitalized overnight for a violent crash Saturday.
The team said VeeKay’s status will be re-evaluated before the July 4 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He is tied for fifth in the championship standings with his first career victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course last month and a runner-up at Detroit last Saturday.
“What happened was very unfortunate and definitely not the greatest timing,” VeeKay said in a release. “The surgery went well, I am not in any pain. I definitely wanted to be out there fighting for my place in the championship and driving the Direct Supply car. I will give it all I have and be ready for Mid-Ohio!
“I am very thankful for everyone at ECR that helped me and stayed up very late to get everything for the surgery arranged. I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone at OrthoIndy who got me all fixed up!”
VeeKay already has rebounded once from injury this season, breaking a finger during an April 8 crash in Indy 500 testing.
“I want to wish Rinus a speedy recovery, I know the No. 21 Chevrolet will be missing him,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in the release. “It’s a shame that he has to miss this round, but he will come back strong., I want to thank Oliver for being ready and able to step in and give the car a strong run.”
Askew made two starts at Road America as rookie last season with Arrow McLaren SP. The 2019 Indy Lights champion has an LMP3 class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this season.
“First off, I hope Rinus is doing well and that he has a quick recovery,” Askew, 24, said. “I’m thankful that Ed and his ECR team trust me to take over the No. 21 Chevrolet this weekend. They have a strong program and I look forward to helping them in every way possible at Road America.”
Practice will begin Friday at 5:15 p.m. ET at Road America with a second practice and qualifying Saturday. The 55-lap race will be held Sunday at noon ET on NBCSN.