Testing schedule busy this week for IndyCar teams

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With Pocono Raceway coming up next on the schedule, a majority of the IZOD IndyCar Series teams are taking the opportunity to test there on Tuesday afternoon.

The test, which is closed to the public, will see eight teams and 15 drivers turning laps around the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” in Pennsylvania. Two of those drivers, Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti and Team Penske’s Will Power, were part of an earlier test there in April (pictured) that focused on tires and setting the proper aero package.

Here’s the list of competitors that will be at Pocono on Tuesday seeking to gain an early edge for the Pocono INDYCAR 400 on July 7:

  • ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: Ryan Hunter-Reay, EJ Viso, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti
  • DRAGON RACING: Sebastian Saavedra and Sebastien Bourdais
  • ED CARPENTER RACING: Ed Carpenter
  • PANTHER RACING: Ryan Briscoe
  • KV RACING TECHNOLOGY: Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro
  • RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN: Graham Rahal and James Jakes
  • SARAH FISHER HARTMAN RACING: Josef Newgarden
  • TEAM PENSKE: Helio Castroneves and Will Power

Tuesday will also see Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which will welcome the series on Aug. 4 with the Honda Indy 200. As for the Chip Ganassi Racing contingent, the “Team Target” duo of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, as well as American pilot Charlie Kimball, will all be testing Wednesday down at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

After the Pocono sessions, Power himself will head to Michigan for a straight-line test on Wednesday at General Motors’ proving grounds.

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.