Kurt Busch fastest in second Charlotte Sprint Cup practice

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During last night’s qualifying session at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch threw down the fastest qualifying lap on a 1.5-mile track in the history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

It appears he’s also quick in race trim as well.

The Outlaw logged the fastest lap in this afternoon’s second Cup practice session at 191.157 mph in the No. 41 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet. That’s still more than seven mph slower than the 198.771 lap he had during the second round of qualifying, however.

Last week’s winner at Kansas, Joey Logano, was second-fastest in Practice 2 with a lap of 190.476 mph. Following him were fellow Chasers Denny Hamlin (190.295) and Kevin Harvick (189.967) in third and fourth respectively, then Paul Menard in fifth (189.727).

Harvick had the fastest 10-lap average, though, at 186.565 mph over his first 10 laps in the session.

Other Chasers went as follows in Practice 2: Carl Edwards in sixth, Brad Keselowski in seventh, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 11th, Kasey Kahne in 12th, Matt Kenseth in 13th, Jimmie Johnson in 17th, Ryan Newman in 23rd, Jeff Gordon in 27th, and Kyle Busch in 29th.

Kyle Busch, who won the pole position last night for Saturday’s Bank of America 500, did not run in this practice session until very late.

Choosing to focus more on the final practice (which will have conditions closer to what’s expected during Saturday night’s race), he only ran nine laps in Practice 2 with a top speed of 186.149 mph.

The 80-minute final practice will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte – Second Practice Times

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.