Sprint car icon Steve Kinser to run final full season in 2014

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In 2014, “The King” of the World of Outlaws will be going after the throne, one last time.

Tony Stewart Racing has announced that Steve Kinser, a 20-time champion of the WoO STP Sprint Car Series, will make next year his final full season on the circuit. A year-long farewell tour – dubbed the “Salute to the King” – will begin in February with the DIRTcar Nationals in Florida.

Going into 2014, Kinser has collected a staggering 576 A-Feature victories in his 35-year WoO career. He won his first all the way back in 1978 at the famed Eldora Speedway en route to winning the series’ inaugural championship that season.

Since then, he’s become a legend in the world of sprint car racing and stands as its equivalent to the likes of Mario Andretti, Ayrton Senna, and Richard Petty. Now, he’s looking ahead to one final chance at making more history.

“Racing with the Outlaws has been my life for almost 40 years,” Kinser said in a statement. “It’s all I’ve known. My family has been around it. I’ve had the pleasure of running up and down the road racing all across this incredible country, and even in Canada, Mexico and Australia with this series. I knew it wasn’t going to last forever.

“I feel like we have a great team here capable of winning a lot of races and challenging for the championship this year.”

Kinser has also branched out into other forms of motorsport during his remarkable career. He appeared multiple times in the now-defunct International Race of Champions, with a career-best finish of sixth in the 1994 championship (a year that included a win at Talladega Superspeedway). Kinser also ran a handful of Sprint Cup events in 1995 and competed in the 1997 Indianapolis 500, where he finished 14th.

With Kinser set to embark on one last go-round, his team owner paid tribute.

“I never missed an Outlaw show in the area when I was growing up,” said Stewart. “We waited for those nights like they were holidays. It was incredible watching Steve race with Sammy [Swindell] and Doug [Wolfgang]. He was our guy, being from Indiana, and when he won, it gave us all something to brag about. And he won a lot.

“A few years ago, when we had the chance to get him to drive for TSR, it was like a dream come true. When we got him on board, my goal was for him to drive for us for the remainder of his career. I’m really excited for him to go out and have a great season. He’s the best ever and I couldn’t be more proud.”

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.