INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “We’re going to have a good season,” said IndyCar Series driver Pato O’Ward.
“I’m feeling good about it,” O’Ward said Wednesday.
Pato O’Ward is making history. In 2021, he’s the only Hispanic IndyCar driver competing full-time.
“It’s nice to carry my flag and it’s nice to be competitive,” O’Ward said. “Last year was a year where we exceeded what we thought was possible.”
“We set the bar really high for this year, but I think everybody knows that we can do it. We can fight at the front,” O’Ward said.
The 21-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, was the 2020 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and finished sixth in the delayed race, held in August because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The goal is to have a very long career in IndyCar,” O’Ward said. “I love the series.”
“I think it’s so competitive and it feels like home so hopefully I have a long career with many wins and championships.”
He says he’s confident in his team. “They are the ones that make the wins possible and then it’s up to me to get the job done.”
O’Ward adds that preparing for the May 30 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is quite the challenge. “Everything that goes into that certain race is months and months and months of work, and I’m not saying that in other tracks it’s not.”
“I mean, drivers have their purpose-built IMS speedway car just for that race to go as fast as possible.”
While O’Ward is reaching for greatness, he’s counting on his fans from all over the world to cheer him on. “I’ve always said that I think the Mexican fans are the best because they’re so alive there’s so much energy, they’re so much support.”
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway says they hope more people in the Hispanic community will come out to the speedway to enjoy the race and the events leading to it.