Oliver Askew will close out the season for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in its third NTT IndyCar Series entry as part of an ongoing evaluation to determine who will drive the No. 45 Honda in 2022.
The 2019 Indy Lights champion, who’s driven for Arrow McLaren SP and Ed Carpenter Racing, will race the car at Portland, Laguna Seca and Long Beach as teammate to Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato.
“It’s fantastic opportunity to run the final three races of the season with such a capable team in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Oliver Askew. “We had a very productive test together a few weeks ago at Barber and I’m excited to drive the team’s car again, this time in Hy-Vee colors in one of the most competitive racing environments the world has ever seen. I believe we can put together a great string of results and I’m excited to get to work.”
The 24-year-old from Florida follows Santino Ferrucci and Christian Lundgaard in the No. 45 entry. Connecticut’s Ferrucci spent five races in the car, earning four top 10s along the way, and Denmark’s Lundgaard, in a one-off performance, gave the machine its strongest outing at the recent road course race in Indianapolis where he qualified fourth and mingled with the lead pack before settling for 12th on debut.
For Askew, the chance with RLL represents his best opportunity to re-establish his name as a star of the future after a rookie campaign with AMSP in 2020 proved to be disappointing for both parties. Coming off a stellar developmental period in karting, Askew rocketed up the Road to Indy by capturing the 2017 USF2000 title as a rookie with seven wins from 14 races. After placing third the next year in Indy Pro 2000, he took seven wins and 15 podiums from 18 rounds on the way to winning the Indy Lights championship over Rinus VeeKay.
Although the AMSP relationship ended after one season, Askew has remained active in IMSA by winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the LMP3 class, driving alongside Jarrett and Marco Andretti at other WeatherTech Championship LMP3 rounds, and making two last-minute IndyCar starts while deputizing for the injured Felix Rosenqvist at AMSP and the injured VeeKay at ECR.
Askew’s opportunity with RLL also comes at a time when the team is making a push to improve its competitive fortunes. With Rahal holding eighth in the drivers’ championship leading into Portland and Sato sitting in 10th, the team has been among the better outfits on the fringes of the leading teams, but so far in 2021, the duo continues to chase their first win.
In adding a third car — and with the expected confirmation of Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey to replace Sato in a full-time role next year — an Askew, Lundgaard, Ferrucci, or other driver will be expected to elevate the team’s fortunes.