Ed Carpenter Racing will make use of Oliver Askew’s talents this weekend at Road America in the No. 21 Chevy. The car’s regular driver, Rinus VeeKay, suffered a broken clavicle on Monday while riding his bicycle and underwent successful surgery to repair the broken bone Tuesday afternoon.
“First off, I hope Rinus is doing well and that he has a quick recovery,” said Askew, who out-duelled VeeKay to win the 2019 Indy Lights championship.
“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.”
It marks the second consecutive race where Askew’s services as an NTT IndyCar Series substitute have been in demand. The former Arrow McLaren SP pilot was also drafted in to drive Felix Rosenqvist’s No. 7 AMSP Chevy on Sunday after the Swede experienced a heavy crash in Saturday’s race in Detroit.
The timing is unfortunate for VeeKay, who is mounting a serious title bid in his sophomore season. With a win at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in May, a podium on Saturday in Detroit, and six top 10 finishes from eight races, VeeKay holds fifth in the championship heading into Road America. He will fall back in the standings due to the absence at the Wisconsin road course, and has two weeks following the event to heal and possibly take part in the July 4 race at Mid-Ohio.
Known as one of the most physically demanding races on the calendar, Mid-Ohio would pose a serious test of VeeKay’s healing. If he’s unable to go at Mid-Ohio, a return at the next race on the streets of Nashville set for August 4 would give the 20-year-old more than six weeks to convalesce and recuperate.