UPDATED: Will NHRA Funny Car legend John Force reveal new sponsor and manufacturer today?

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UPDATED: On a day when it was believed 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force might announce a new sponsor and car manufacturer for 2015, Force instead stunned the drag racing world Wednesday afternoon when he announced that he asked for and accepted the resignation of crew chief Jimmy Prock.

Prock’s resignation is effective immediately, leaving Force scrambling to find someone to tune his Funny Car for the final two races of the season as Force attempts to extend his record number of Funny Car titles to 17.

For more about today’s news, read the following:

MORE: NHRA stunner: Jimmy Prock out as John Force’s crew chief

ORIGINAL STORY:

Sixteen-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force is expected to make a major announcement concerning John Force Racing later Wednesday afternoon.

Force will appear on an NHRA media teleconference at 2:30 pm ET.

Will Force finally reveal what his fans have waited all season long for, namely, who his new primary sponsor will be in 2015, as well as what manufacturer and model of car he’ll drive next season as well?

Force has been with Castrol Oil for more than two decades, and with Ford since 1998. Both companies announced during the last offseason that this would be their final year with Force, electing to take their support into other realms of motorsports in 2015.

Rumors have been all over the place in recent weeks on what kind of car Force will drive.

Some have Force campaigning a Dodge Challenger Hellcat in 2015. More recently, there’s been chatter that he might drive a Chevrolet or even a Toyota like several of his top rivals such as Alexis DeJoria, Ron Cappas and Cruz Pedregon.

As for a new sponsor, there’s been very little indications as to what that may be.

Force announced recently that he would make a major announcement on Nov. 1 during the NHRA race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We’re wondering if today’s announcement means the schedule has been pushed up.

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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.