Official Indy 500 entry list is out, with your likely field of 33

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The official Indianapolis 500 entry list was released Sunday morning. It’s got 64 total cars, with 33 car/driver combinations – all bar 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier and rookie James Davison have a backup listed.

Lazier is one of six prior winners entered, and one of two from the 1990s with Jacques Villeneuve also on as he prepares for his first ‘500 start since that 1995 win. The other winners? Defending champion Tony Kanaan (2013), his teammate and defending series champion Scott Dixon (2008), and Roger Penske’s pair of Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2000). With Dario Franchitti retired, Castroneves is the lone multiple ‘500 winner entered in this year’s race.

Davison is one of seven rookies entered. The others are full-season shoes Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth and Carlos Huertas, the extra cars at Andretti Autosport (Kurt Busch) and A.J. Foyt Racing (Martin Plowman), and Indy Lights champion Sage Karam in the DRR Kingdom Racing Chevrolet. Andretti’s Carlos Munoz, a series rookie, is obviously not a 500 rookie after his runner-up finish in 2013.

The remaining Indy 500-only, for now, one-offs include the previously announced: Townsend Bell (KVRT), Oriol Servia (RLL, although this is race four for him this season), JR Hildebrand (Ed Carpenter Racing), Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing) and Alex Tagliani (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing).

As for a 34th car and the bumping potential, one driver exists for that role if he or she can strike a deal to add an extra car with an existing team.

Otherwise the 34th driver this year might just be E.J. Viso, who will fill-in as needed for James Hinchcliffe at Andretti’s team. Hinchcliffe was diagnosed with a concussion in yesterday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

OFFICIAL 98TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 ENTRY LIST

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
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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.