Matt McMurry named Dyson Junior Driver

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One of North America’s most historic sports car teams is sitting out the 2014 season, at least initially, but Dyson Racing isn’t resting as an organization.

Earlier this week the team announced the Dyson Racing Junior Development Program, designed to aid, nurture and develop young drivers. The first driver named by team sporting director Chris Dyson is 16-year-old Matt McMurry, a Skip Barber Race Series and USF2000 graduate.

“Over the past three decades our team has also nurtured the careers of a number of up-and-coming drivers, including my own,” Dyson said. “With the creation of the Dyson Racing Junior Development Program we’ve made a more formal commitment to accelerating the progress of new generations of driving talent.”

McMurry will compete in the full IMSA Cooper Tire Prototype Lites series this year with Performance Tech Motorsports, and he’s also had a chance to sample Greaves Motorsport’s LMP2 Zytek Z11SN Nissan for testing.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for me, and I’m honored to be Dyson Racing’s first Junior Development Program team member,” said McMurry.

Adds Dyson, “What impresses me the most about Matt is not how good he is for a driver his age. It’s just how flat good he is. I watched him drive last week in testing and I came away with the sense that he has enough talent that if he plays his card right, there’s no limit to how much he can accomplish.”

Keep an eye on this name and team pairing in the weeks and months to come.

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.