Kurt Busch, Furniture Row team get pep talk from Broncos coach

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Count Denver Broncos head coach John Fox among those pulling for the single-car Furniture Row Racing and driver Kurt Busch in their bid to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Fox recently welcomed Busch (pictured) and some of his crewmen from the Denver-based operation for a visit to the Broncos’ training camp and addressed the group as well. According to Busch, the coach’s advice was well-taken by everyone present.

“He’s a fan of NASCAR and he is pulling for his hometown team and we appreciate what he had to say to us,” Busch said in a statement. “He was inspiring, stressing to keep focused on the present and to execute with perfection.”

Busch has yet to break through for a win in 2013, but has been on the uptick as of late with three consecutive Top-10 finishes that have enabled him to jump into the Top 10 of the Sprint Cup standings. A sixth career Cup victory at Bristol would be most welcome for Busch as he aims to put his small team into NASCAR’s post-season.

FRR has already had to battle this weekend after Busch damaged his car in a Friday practice incident. But with some quick repairs done before qualifying, he went out and netted his seventh outside front-row start of the season.

With only three races to go in the run-up to the Chase, consistency is the name of the game.

“Even if we had a win right now, we would be not guaranteed a spot in the Chase,” Busch said on Friday at Bristol after qualifying. “Consistency is what gets you in and consistency wins the championship. You just have to ramp it up a notch once you’re in the Chase.

“So right now, the blinders are on. We are full-focus on just making sure we get nice, consistent finishes.”

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.