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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Pato O’Ward Returning to Arrow McLaren SP in 2021

After a successful 2020 campaign with Arrow McLaren SP, the team announced Oct. 13 that driver Patricio O’Ward will return to its No. 5 NTT IndyCar Series entry in 2021.

“I am beyond excited to be racing with Arrow McLaren SP next season to build on what we have accomplished so far this year,” O’Ward said in a release. “Such a great group of people who truly have welcomed me like a second family. Given how much change I have seen in my career to this point, it is invaluable to get the opportunity to put down roots and build on a foundation year over year.”

O’Ward’s 2020 stablemate Oliver Askew will not return to the team for 2021. The driver of the No. 7 has yet to be announced.

“The entire team and I are thrilled to have Pato back in the car next year,” team co-owner Sam Schmidt said. “He has shown incredible form this year and has kept himself in the championship hunt all season long. I think he has the potential to compete at the highest level in the NTT IndyCar Series for a long time.”

After a part-time effort in 2019 with Carlin Racing, O’Ward embarked on his first full-time season in 2020 with Arrow. So far, the 21-year-old has recorded three podiums and nine top-10 finishes this year, one of those a sixth-place effort at the Indianapolis 500, and has led over 200 laps.

Two of his podium appearances were runner-up finishes at the second Road America and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway events, and O’Ward also recorded a pole at the same Road America race.

The final race of the season, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, is set for Oct. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET. O’Ward currently sits fifth in the 2020 standings, 12 points behind fourth-place Will Power.

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