Kurt Busch, Susie Wolff added to Race of Champions field

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Kurt Busch and Susie Wolff are the two newest additions to the Race of Champions field, which occurs this December in Barbados. Busch was confirmed Tuesday, Wolff Monday.

Busch’s 2014 has continued his comeback in NASCAR Sprint Cup, where he shifted to Stewart-Haas Racing, made the Chase by virtue of his spring race win at Martinsville, then pulled off one of the stories of the year when he did the “Double” this summer of running the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. Busch won Rookie-of-the-Year honors at Indy.

Busch will team with his month of May teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, the Indianapolis 500 champion, for Team USA at the ROC. Hunter-Reay was named to the ROC lineup last month.

“I’ve raced for a lot of great sponsors in my career, but to race for my country, that’s something pretty special,” he said in a release. “You look at the names of the people who’ve competed in the Race Of Champions, past and present. To be included on that list is a real honor. I’m excited to team up with Ryan again. He won the Indy 500 for our team, hopefully we can win this one for the United States.”

Wolff, the Williams Racing test driver who’s had a couple of free practice one outings this season, will become the first female driver in ROC history.

“I’m so looking forward to racing again,” Wolff said in a release. “I have a full-time job at Williams, which is great, but nothing can replace the adrenalin of racing and I can’t wait to get that back. So I’m proud to have been chosen to take part in the Race Of Champions and I’m looking forward to racing against some of the top-rated drivers in the world.”

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.