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Oliver Askew: This One’s For You

July 19, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – They say photos are just moments in time. See that photo? It shows Rob Howden of IndyCar Radio asking me what it meant to win the Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Before I answered I looked up at the podium and thought of this moment:

This photo (left) is from 2010. I was 13 years old and running my first national karting race at New Castle Motorsports Park which is about an hour east of Indianapolis. Before the race week began my Ocala Gran Prix karting team took a trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was my very first time visiting the Racing Capital of the World. We toured the museum and took a picture on the podium. At that point in my career I could only dream of racing at the speedway, let alone winning. And now, nine years later, here I am, standing in victory lane after edging my teammate by .0006 of a second. All I could think about was how much my family had sacrificed, how much work I had put into making myself a better racecar driver every day, and most importantly, I thought of all of the people who believed in me over the years that always put me in a position to be successful. That Freedom 100 victory, in front of 80,000 people and another 180,000-people watching on TV, was for the kid who never lost sight of the dream and the people who supported it.

I must give a shout-out to everyone on the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights team, especially my engineer Doug Zister and mechanics Dave Mehan, Nate Steadman and Marty Disanto. It was very special to have the chance to kiss the bricks after all the effort they put in to make this number 28 machine as fast as possible. I’d also like to send a special thanks to my sponsors and supporters, the Borg Family, Index Invest, Bob and Sharon Stellrecht, the Stellrecht Company, Justin Bruns, Joacim Borg, Wavelength Images, Rob and Amy Swan, Chris Wheeler, Bell Racing USA, Billy Deakins, Sparco USA, Jeff Dickerson, Joey Dennewitz, Don Rohr, Spire Sports & Entertainment, Bommarito Automotive Group, SimMetric Labs,, the Team USA Scholarship, Young Adventurers, Coastal Performance, Pit Fit Training, and last but not least my family and local support group back home in Jupiter, Florida.

You’re only as good as your last race and I refuse to let this be the biggest accomplishment of my career. My mindset hasn’t changed and we will continue to get the most out of every day with the opportunity that we have. We’re currently leading the championship battle by 11 points, and later this week we head to the halfway point in the season at one my favorite circuits, Road America.