Story Credit: Road to Indy PR
Photo Credit: Road to Indy Photo
MADISON, Ill. – The second and final oval race of the 2019 Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires season saw Oliver Askew of Andretti Autosport extend his winning streak to seven – and fourth in a row – this afternoon at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway after a dominant run which saw the 22-year-old from Jupiter, Fla., cross the finish line 6.7 seconds over the field.
Askew added an exclamation point by posting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 73 of the 75-lap contest.
Title rival Rinus VeeKay of Juncos Racing had to settle for second after holding off a charging David Malukas, who started fourth, in the closing stages and claim his second podium of the year for the newly reformed HMD Motorsports team.
Askew started on pole – his seventh of the year – but it was all VeeKay at the drop of the green flag, who managed to pass Askew and assume a comfortable margin with the pair seemingly content to run one-two around the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval.
All eyes were focused mid-pack at that stage with battles between Sowery, Dalton Kellett (Juncos Racing) and Robert Megennis (Andretti Autosport). Lap 10 saw the only caution of the 75-lap Cooper Tires Oval Challenge of St. Louis with Toby Sowery in the second HMD Motorsports entry spinning on his own in Turn 2. With no contact, the race quickly resumed five laps later with the attention shifting back to the frontrunners.
With Askew in hot pursuit, VeeKay had a slight wall brush on Lap 29 but continued to maintain his lead. The pair were on their own out front with a six-second span over Malukas in third and Ryan Norman (Andretti Autosport) – last year’s race winner – in fourth. Askew, it seemed, was biding his time and made the move to pass VeeKay on the outside of Turn 2 on Lap 51. He never looked back.
He now leads VeeKay by 52 points, 349-304, as all Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires competitors head next to Portland International Raceway on August 31/September 1.
Megennis, who finished fifth, earned the Tilton Hard Charger Award, with Kellett, Kohl and Sowery rounding out the field.
- Oliver Askew, 395
- Rinus VeeKay, 343
- Ryan Norman, 295
- Robert Megennis, 275
- Toby Sowery, 270
- David Malukas, 242
- Dalton Kellett, 213
- Lucas Kohl, 200