Andrew Luck stops by IMS, Charlie Kimball’s team

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One of Indianapolis’ most prominent sporting residents paid a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday.

Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback and first overall draft pick a year ago, spent some time with Charlie Kimball’s Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. Kimball invited Luck and three other Colts (backup QBs Matt Hasselbeck, Chandler Harnish and wide receiver Griff Whalen) to the track after Kimball was at Luck’s “Change the Play” event a few weeks previous.

“I didn’t make it out last year. I think we were still in school last year and free weekends were at a premium,” said Luck. “Unfortunately, I’m going to be out of town next weekend so I won’t be able to come to the race, but I wanted to come and pay our respect to Charlie because he was kind enough to come out to our IU-Riley event.

“As a sports fan, it’s awesome to see a spectacle like this, a stadium like this. To see how different athletes operate and how a race car team operates compared to a football team. Hopefully it will be a little educational for us.”

Kimball, who’s matured in his third IndyCar season, described what it meant to have Luck at the track.

“I got the opportunity to go to an event a few weeks ago sponsored IU Health Sports Performance that was Andrew Luck’s Change the Play event,” said Kimball. “I met Griff (Whalen) and Andrew (Luck), and sort of connected being a Stanford fan, getting in (to school there), my dad being an alumni and I think Andrew mentioned that my aunt spoke to his freshman English literature class. It’s all in the family. I’m a Stanford fan, and now an Indianapolis resident and Colts fan.

“I wanted them to come see my office, because in the winter, it’s easy to turn on the TV and see these guys go to work on Sundays. I wanted to give them the opportunity see what I think is the greatest sporting venue in the world – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and see us turn laps at 215, 220 mph and give them the full Indianapolis experience.”

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.