NNS at Iowa postponed to Sunday morning

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The NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, originally slated for a 8 p.m. ET start on Saturday night, has instead been postponed to later today at 11 a.m. ET due to inclement weather.

According to the Associated Press, rain began to fall less than an hour before the scheduled start and then came back just as workers were close to drying out the 7/8-mile short oval.

“There comes a point in the evening where it is simply not feasible to wait any longer,” Iowa Speedway director of communications Craig Armstrong told NASCAR.com. “All the gains we made on [drying] the race track [became] voided.”

The wet stuff had held off for qualifying earlier Saturday, which saw Austin Dillon lead a group of 11 drivers in smashing the old NNS track record. Dillon earned his third consecutive NNS pole – one shy of a series record – with a lap at 136.737 miles per hour and will be joined on the front row by Sam Hornish Jr.

The postponement of the DuPont Pioneer 250 means that there will be no Sprint Cup regulars within the field. Joey Logano was slated to drive Saturday night at Iowa before taking part in Sunday’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway, but with Cup duties taking precedence for him, Ryan Blaney will take over Logano’s No. 22 Penske Racing Ford for the NNS event.

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.