Photo: Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

O’Ward, Harding Steinbrenner Racing Part Ways Ahead of 2019 Season

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Patricio “Pato” O’Ward will not be driving for Harding Steinbrenner Racing for the upcoming NTT IndyCar Series season.

It was announced that the two have agreed to “part ways” on Monday.

“The Harding Steinbrenner Racing team supported my decision to seek a new opportunity by releasing me from my contract and allowing me the opportunity to find a new team before the start of the 2019 season,” O’Ward said in a statement.

“Now, I am fully focused on finding the right opportunity and how I will use my scholarship from Indy Lights for 2019.”

The confirmation came after swirling rumors that the team, which originally hoped to compete with two full-time entries this year with both O’Ward and fellow rookie Colton Herta, was not able to find funding to keep that effort afloat.

The timing of the announcement is tough as the 2019 season begins next month with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and one day prior to the two day open test at Circuit of the Americas.

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champion, is carrying a $1 million prize which allows him entry for four IndyCar races this year, including the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.