Indy’s “Snake Pit” adds Hardwell, NERVO, Dillon Francis for race day (VIDEO)

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It may not be the original “Snake Pit” in Turn 1, but the revived and revamped “Snake Pit” in Turn 3 is pulling out all the stops to increase its profile and stature in Indianapolis Motor Speedway lore.

This year, race day will see three DJs – one who’s attained No. 1 worldwide status and two up-and-comers – perform begin starting at 7 a.m. race morning and continue through the end of this year’s Indianapolis 500.

Hardwell (real name Robbert van de Corput), ranked as the world’s No. 1 DJ in the 2013 DJ Mag Top 100 poll, will headline the party in the Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite with DJs NERVO and Dillon Francis also performing. Hardwell is the youngest DJ to attain that award.

“The Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite has become an extremely popular destination for younger fans during the Indianapolis 500,” J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president, said in a release. “Hardwell is one of the hottest electronic music DJs in the world and his appearance on Race Day is proof that the new Snake Pit features the hottest performers for fans who come to enjoy the music and the race. Adding NERVO and Dillon Francis to the musical line-up makes the Snake Pit a ‘must see’ event for electronic music lovers.”

Although this has little to do with the race in terms of the actual race itself, it’s more proof that IMS is continuing to work to attract a younger demographic to the track for the race. And hey, if the fans there happen to get hooked by the speed of 230 mph-plus on offer beyond the beer and booming sound reverberating from the stage, more power to them.

Here’s the video teaser from IMS, announcing the new performers.

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.