Jay Mohr’s skewering monologue stars at NASCAR banquet (VIDEO)

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Jay Mohr opened last night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2013 Awards Ceremony with a monologue that pulled no punches, yet left the room in Las Vegas in stitches.

No one was spared, as the at times controversial 2013 season was captured in comedic genius for the better part of 14 minutes.

To open, Mohr recounted the last time he was asked to host the banquet, in 2006.

“Last time I hosted was seven years ago. Jimmie Johnson, by coincidence, was celebrating his first championship, and we were celebrating the birth of Joey Logano,” he cracked.

Moments from there included several references to the Richmond regular season finale and ensuing chaos that came of it.

“How’s that poison oak treating you?” Mohr asked Clint Bowyer, whose spin to cause the final caution flag of the race was the catalyst that sent things in motion. As a follow-up, Mohr said Bowyer will be great in marriage (he recently got engaged) because, “You’re already really good at apologizing for things you may or may not have done.”

Jeff Gordon’s addition as the 13th driver to this year’s Chase, which occurred on Friday the 13th of 2013, was also a popular topic.

“Jeff Gordon has just been added to the BCS Championship Game. I guess it will be you versus Florida State,” Mohr said, in a “breaking news” style interruption.

Further such interruptions: Gordon was “just added to the Best Picture category at the Oscars,” and later, “A 13th month has been added to the calendar. Jeff Gordon-ary. It’s right after December.”

The only particularly icy moment when Mohr noticed Danica Patrick, and offered a joke based largely on her performance this year.

“I hope you’re not too uncomfortable… I know you’re not used to being this close to the front,” he said.

Praise for Johnson, and the things he could get away with (wearing a championship ring hat at Homestead), was also offered. There were the usual Mark Martin’s old, and Joey Logano’s young jokes.

But it’s 14 minutes worth of video worth watching, because Mohr pretty much said everything you would hope for in a skewering, comedic monologue. It was a treat to watch.

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.