WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — Hornish joins RPM, Keselowski’s Chase fate, Harvick’s outlook and more

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America (live from 5 pm to 5:30 pm ET), Leigh Diffey, Wally Dallenbach and Parker Kligerman ride herd in-studio over what promises to be a very busy show.

Among today’s show highlights:

  • Richard Petty Motorsports announced earlier today that Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the No. 9 car next season in NASCAR Sprint Cup. Hornish will replace Marcos Ambrose, who is returning to his native Australia to race V8 Supercars next season. We’ll hear from Hornish and discuss how he’ll fit in with the RPM team.
  • Kelli Stavast visited the Team Penske race shop in Mooresville, NC, to report on the team’s preparations for this weekend’s race in Charlotte. Also, how much attention will be diverted to Brad Keselowski’s efforts, now that Joey Logano has already clinched his spot in the next round?
  • Marty Snider caught up with Kevin Harvick Tuesday night at a charitable dinner for the Kevin Harvick Foundation in Greensboro, NC. Snider spoke with Harvick about his chances this weekend in Charlotte, a track where he has already notched two career wins.
  • Parker Kligerman uses the NBC Sports iRacing simulator to illustrate how driving under the lights can affect a race. Parker and Wally Dallenbach will both break down the nuances of the Charlotte Motor Speedway track, site of Saturday night’s Bank of America 500.
  • Chase Elliott has a sizable lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with four races remaining. We examine Elliott’s season to date and how likely the 18-year old is to win the title in his first full year of NASCAR Nationwide racing.
  • We also examine the points standings for Sprint Cup drivers who did not make the Chase, as well as focus on the recent run of strong finishes by both Martin Truex Jr. and rookie Austin Dillon.

If you’re not near a TV, you can CLICK HERE to stream NASCAR AMERICA online and on your mobile device through NBC Sports Live Extra.

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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.