Will Power overcomes penalty with outstanding rally from final restart to finish second at Texas

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Will Power has a message for some of his critics who believe he gets special treatment on the IndyCar Series:

“Anyone who says I don’t get drive-throughs or penalties are crazy, I get them every race,” Power said after Saturday’s Firestone 600 IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Had it not been for yet another costly drive-through penalty, Power may very well have rebounded to win.

Instead, he rallied back from sixth-place on the last restart with three laps left to finish second and almost steal the win away from eventual winner Ed Carpenter.

The key for Power, who retained his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, was a gutsy call by Team Penske president Tim Cindric, who called for four tires to be put on Power’s car on the final pit stop.

“What an awesome call by my team to get tires,” Power said. “I thought I screwed it up for them again, but another drive-through (penalty) – that’s four drive-throughs in five races, that’s not good enough.

“Tim Cindric and Dave (Faustino) my engineer, they always put me in great positions, so I’m just happy to get back to second. It was just an awesome last lap.”

Power blasted off on the restart and eventually caught Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya heading into the final lap.

All that was left ahead of him was Carpenter, and while Power gave it a valiant try, he couldn’t quite catch the race winner before the drop of the checkered flag.

If the race had gone another lap or two, or if Power had not incurred the penalty, we might be talking about a different winner.

“I don’t know, it’s hard to say,” Power said if there would be a different outcome. “Ed was awful strong. He’s an awesome driver.

“It would have made a good battle there at the end, my car was good at the end, but I’m just real happy to drive the car and come in second. It was just a lot of fun.”

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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.