Rookie Askew Scorches To His Second Indy Lights Pole

Oliver Askew Wins 2017 USF2000 TitleStory courtesy of IndyLights.com

AUSTIN, Texas – Rising American star Oliver Askew set a blistering pace today and will start on pole position for tomorrow’s Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products at the 3.41-mile, 20-turn Circuit of The Americas. The talented rookie from Jupiter, Fla., found the perfect way to bounce back from a major disappointment in the second of two Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races two weeks ago on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., where he once again started from the pole, only to be eliminated in an incident on the first lap.

Askew’s Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Norman, from Aurora, Ohio, and Robert Megennis, from New York, N.Y., ensured an excellent day for the Indianapolis-based team by claiming the next two positions on the starting grid.

Askew, who won the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2017 and finished third in last year’s Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, set the tone last month when he posted the fastest time during a pre-season test at Circuit of The Americas. Track conditions were significantly warmer today, resulting in slower lap times, but Askew continued to display his affinity for the challenging road course by posting the fastest time in practice this morning at 1:56.3844.

Oliver Askew wins 2017 USF2000 ChampionshipEnglishman Toby Sowery was a remarkable second-fastest this morning. He is the only driver in the field not to have tested at the track in February, and ended the opening session just two-tenths of a second adrift of Askew’s best.

Lap times were faster this afternoon during the 30-minute qualifying session as more rubber was laid down, with Askew setting the standard at 1:55.5454, an average speed of 106.244 mph.

Oliver Askew (#28 Index Invest Dallara-Andretti Autosport Dallara-AER IL-15):

“I am extremely happy,” said Askew. “It is nice to bounce back from the unfortunate race in St. Pete and move forward and put that behind us now. We’ve been quickest in almost all the sessions besides one (including the pre-season test) and this says a lot about the team and everyone here. We’re one-two-three and I’m really happy about that and looking forward to a good race tomorrow. The track really suits me, especially when it is hot. When it is hot anywhere, I tend to be a little bit stronger with being super smooth on the (steering) wheel and the throttle as well so I am really happy to put the Index Invest #28 car on pole today.”

 

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