The impressive season continues for Pato O’Ward, as he secured his second podium in as many days at World Wide Technology Raceway outside St. Louis, finishing Race Two in second place. O’Ward, in only his first full season in INDYCAR at just 21-years-old, sits among the veterans in the championship standings in third place.
The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet started the race in fourth but used the first round of pit stops to under-cut the leaders and take the lead. He went on to lead 36 laps until the next round of stops, when he lost a drag race for the lead to Josef Newgarden on pit road. Despite being able to hang right on Newgarden’s tail, O’Ward could never get quite close enough to retake the lead and the race ended under yellow after a late-race incident.
O’Wards teammate, Oliver Askew, lost a few places after a difficult start in the No. 7 Arrow Mclaren SP Chevrolet. Despite the tough start, Askew had one of the best cars on track, consistently putting down fast laps. He was able to make up a few positions but passing was at a premium, and he ended the race in 17th.
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Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Qualified: 4th, 182.280 mph
Laps Led: 36
“We are so close. The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet was very strong right out of the gates. We are knocking on the door. We are very close and we are going to keep pushing. I know our time will come so we just have to stay there. It would be great to say I had something for Josef if it had stayed green but whenever I got close, it got tough. With 10 laps to go, I was pushing and pushing but I just couldn’t quite do it. It was harder to pass today than it was yesterday. The track was quite a bit hotter, which made it tougher with big trains of cars.”
Oliver Askew, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Qualified: 13th, 180.579
“We just got passed by too many cars at the start. That made it really tough to get through the field. I feel like we had the car to maybe get into the top-10 or top-5. The No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet was fast in clean air, when we had it. Just disappointed with the start that made our race really difficult from there. Looking forward to hopefully getting back on a road course in a couple weeks.”
Taylor Kiel, Managing Director, Arrow McLaren SP
“It’s too bad we don’t have three races this weekend. It was a really good run by Pato. He drove great all day. Really good strategy calls by all of us on the stand, and man, the pit stop guys did an excellent job again. A really solid weekend all-in-all and really good points. I’m disappointed for Oliver with the rough start. Passing here is very difficult so it was an uphill battle for him. The team is headed in the right direction, we are knocking on the door for the first victory as a team, and I’m excited to get going hopefully in a few weeks at Mid-Ohio. Hats off to Chevrolet today, locking out the top-four.”
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director, McLaren Racing
“It was another strong race for Arrow McLaren SP. Oliver obviously had a difficult start and it compromised his race from there on. He showed good pace throughout the race and made up a few spots after the start. Pato, again, showed his tremendous skill and nerve behind the wheel by driving an extremely well-judged race. Again congratulations to our strategy team and the guys in the pits that not only called a perfect race, but did extremely well on the pit stops. Close once again, but a really great weekend for the whole team. We continue on, head down, and try to improve each and every weekend.”