Arrow McLaren SP rookie Oliver Askew has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming IndyCar Harvest GP doubleheader after being declared unfit to drive by the IndyCar Medical Staff.
Askew has been diagnosed with a concussion following his scary crash at the 2020 Indianapolis 500 on 23 August. Despite being cleared to compete in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 and Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, the Florida native told the Associated Press that he had been experiencing dizziness, sleeping difficulties, irritability, headaches and confusion since his crash.
He tried to push through, but friends and family eventually convinced him to seek further evaluation.
“This was an incredibly tough call but I have to follow the advice of the INDYCAR Medical Team and my doctors. My priority right now is focusing on my health,” Askew said in a press release.
“Despite not being in the car, I will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Harvest GP, giving whatever insight and support to Arrow McLaren SP that I can.”
Team co-owner Sam Schmidt fully backed the decision of his 23-year-old driver.
“The welfare of Oliver, our team members and fellow competitors is paramount,” Schmidt said.
“We therefore support Oliver and the decision of INDYCAR. Withdrawing to focus on his health and recovery is the right thing to do.”
Piloting the No. 7 Chevrolet in his place will be three time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves, who will be making his first career IndyCar start not racing for Team Penske, and will join Pato O’ Ward in the Arrow McLaren garage.
“First and foremost, we wish Oliver the best and that he is able to take time to recover,” Castroneves said. “I look forward to getting back on track and helping to build on the great progress that Arrow McLaren SP has made this year.”
The IndyCar Harvest GP doubleheader will take place on 02-03 October on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.