Keselowski to the garage as multi-car pileup leads to brief red flag at Martinsville

Leave a comment

An apparent mechanical issue for Brad Keselowski led to a multi-car crash that brought out the red flag with 64 laps to go in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Keselowski, who made the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup after winning last week at Talladega, slowed down coming off Turn 4 and pulled to the outside of the front-stretch.

But Casey Mears then ran into the back of him, while Danica Patrick clipped Mears and took right-side damage. Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne then both hit Mears, with Carl Edwards also getting involved in the melee.

Kahne has now been listed as out of the race due to the damage sustained on his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, while Keselowski has since been taken to the garage. Edwards is in position to take the free pass when the race goes back to green.

“I didn’t really see him slowing down,” Kahne told ESPN after he was released from the infield care center. “My spotter saw it last second, and as soon as he said it, I hit the brakes. But by then, it was way too late. I was just looking at the 78 [Truex] and he started slowing up and I was already into him. It was a pretty good hit.”

The race has since resumed under the yellow caution flag with Clint Bowyer leading Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Tony Stewart.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.