Oliver Askew, driver of the No.7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy, believes that the troubles he’s had in his rookie season are magnified due to the exceedingly close competition within IndyCar.
In the nine races so far this season, Askew has finished behind his team-mate Pato O’Ward six times and has only been able to earn a single podium to O’Ward’s three.
A few bouts of bad luck have also hurt the young Floridian, including a hard crash in the Indianapolis 500 that put him out of contention for a solid finish.
Even on a weekend with no issues, the competition is so tight, and the veterans are so consistent, Askew has come to realize that even a small gap in performance can lead to a dramatically bad finish.
“Honestly, my unbiased opinion is that this series is the most competitive in the world at the moment,” said Askew.
“You know, to come in as a rookie, there’s a lot to learn, and if you don’t take a stand against the veterans, they’re going to understand that and use you up as much as they can.
“It’s super tough, and probably more tough than many people realize.”
The 23-year-old sits 17th in the overall points standings, and third in a close Rookie of the Year battle with Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay.
Askew is confident that he can turn his season around a bit heading into Mid-Ohio this weekend, a track at which he won both Indy Lights races last season.
Because the field is so close on performance at every track, capitalizing on others’ small errors is key to having a good weekend.
“You just need to capitalize and make sure you’re on it all the time because it’s such a close series,” continued Askew. “So if you feel a little bit off one day, it looks like you’re having a really bad weekend because everyone is so close together.”
“So I think, yeah, I just need to be a little bit more consistent and the results will be there.”
The newly-reinstated doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course takes place this weekend, with races on both Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.