Back in the NTT IndyCar Series paddock after wrapping up his season of Formula E with Andretti Autosport, 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew is trying to rekindle his open-wheel career at home and is focusing on finding a new IndyCar opportunity.
Since earning the Lights title with Andretti Autosport, the Floridian’s been on a rollercoaster ride that’s taken him to Arrow McLaren SP, Ed Carpenter Racing, the high banks of Daytona where he led Riley Motorsports to a class LMP3 win in IMSA’s marquee Rolex 24 endurance race and most recently, the all-electric Formula E series. There, after a stormy introduction to the category, he closed out his time in the championship with a pair of top-five finishes at the two final events of the season.
Hired to coach Chip Ganassi Racing development driver Kyffin Simpson, Askew’s hoping his presence at the closing IndyCar rounds will draw interest from teams who are searching for available and experienced talent.
“IndyCar racing is where I grew up, what I grew up aspiring to do, and to have that opportunity to chase that dream on the Road to Indy where everything was centered towards having a long, successful IndyCar career is all I’ve wanted,” Asked told RACER. “But everyone has their own journey.
“I wasn’t able to follow the path of, let’s say, Josef Newgarden or Spencer Pigot, guys who I was looking up to and who paved the way for someone like myself. So I’m trying come back here. I feel like this is my home.”
If he can’t swing an IndyCar return, Askew would welcome an invitation to join one of the factory IMSA GTP programs coming together for the 2023 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
“I think that’s a parallel series to IndyCar, at least level on drivers and professional teams,” he said. “I would love to wind up somewhere in either of those series. I feel like the expectations and situations that I’ve been thrown into haven’t allowed me to grow and really get to my full potential. I think that towards the end of this Formula E journey, I really understood how to extract the most out of myself and the car and I think I showed that in terms of results. I know what I can do.”
Given the chance, Askew would like to help an improving IndyCar team to move forward in the field.
“There’s only two or three available teams to join at this moment, and I’d love to be able to join a team and grow with them and give everything I’ve learned and have a longer-term situation than I’ve had in the past. That’s really, really important to me.
“I’ve learned a lot about the electric side of racing and the strategies there that I think would be useful to IndyCar or IMSA teams with electrification coming in and I’m very focused and eager to get back to these paddocks. Doing some evaluation tests would be great for me because I know I can bring a lot to a team if I’m asked.”