IndyCar rookie Patricio O’Ward will not be racing for Carlin-Chevrolet at the Iowa and Gateway rounds of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series.
Reigning Indy Lights champion O’Ward signed to drive for Carlin this season after breaking his ties with Harding Steinbrenner Racing in February.
Originally O’Ward was supposed to start all 12 races that Charlie Kimball was missing, plus the Indianapolis 500, and has so far started at Circuit of the Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and the IndyCar Grand Prix on the IMS road course.
In early May, the 20-year-old Mexican announced he had joined the Red Bull Junior Team and that he was ultimately aiming for Formula 1 but then he suffered a huge accident in practice for the Indy 500 and ultimately failed to qualify.
This weekend O'Ward is competing in the Detroit double-header alongside Carlin incumbent Max Chilton, and in a car running the Carlin deep metallic blue livery but with the logo of Chilton’s sponsor Gallagher on the sidepods.
Team owner Trevor Carlin told Motorsport.com: “[Patricio] is doing the races we originally agreed to, with the exception of Iowa and Gateway.”
Asked if he would place Kimball in the car for those two extra races, or enter just one car (for Chilton), Carlin replied: “We will run two cars for the whole season.”
Although Carlin remained coy on the topic, one likely candidate to partner Chilton, aside from Kimball, who still has Texas Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and the finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca left to run on his five-race deal with Carlin, is RC Enerson. He was a strong candidate for the 13-race ride until his sponsor deal fell through, but he would have to pass a rookie oval test to IndyCar’s satisfaction.
Another possibility would be Conor Daly, who shone in his one-off for Andretti Autosport at the Indy 500.
Asked by Motorsport.com if he would be prepared to race for Carlin in Iowa and Gateway, Kimball responded: “I’ll drive every time I can, but for now I haven’t heard anything from the team about adding two races to my schedule.”
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