Martin Truex Jr. to miss Friday’s sessions at MIS as girlfriend begins ovarian cancer treatment

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NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. will miss Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions at Michigan International Speedway to be with long-time girlfriend Sherry Pollex.

Pollex, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, will undergo surgery and begin treatment with Truex by her side.

“Everyone at Furniture Row Racing extends their thoughts and prayers to Sherry during her treatment and recovery period,” team general manager Joe Garone said in a media release. “She is a devoted supporter of our race team and we can’t wait for her return to the track.”

Reigning Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton will take Truex’s place in the practice and qualifying sessions on Friday. Truex is expected to rejoin the team Saturday, in time to compete in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at the two-mile oval track.

“Sherry and Martin would like to thank the NASCAR community for all the well wishes,” the media release stated. “They have requested that everyone respect the family’s privacy as Sherry begins her treatment and recovery.

“Sherry’s passion in life is fighting pediatric cancer. To learn more about Sherry’s work with children, go to www.martintruexjrfoundation.org.”

Truex is in his first season with Furniture Row Racing after several seasons with Michael Waltrip Racing.

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Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”