Matt Kenseth still remorseful over Martinsville wreck with Kevin Harvick (UPDATED)


UPDATED (8:23 p.m. ET): Looks like Kevin Harvick isn’t ready to forgive Matt Kenseth for knocking him into the wall in last weekend’s Eliminator Round opener at Martinsville Speedway.

Earlier today, Kenseth said he was still remorseful about the incident, which began when Kenseth wheel-hopped going into Turn 1. Kenseth then spun out and as that occurred, he got Harvick, who was turned around before tagging the wall.

After the race, Harvick vowed that Kenseth would not win this year’s Sprint Cup championship – and following tonight’s Sprint Cup qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway, Harvick did not appear to back off that threat.

When asked by USA Today if he was still upset about Martinsville, Harvick responded: “Absolutely.”

He was then asked if his face-to-face conversation with Kenseth earlier today over the incident had changed anything, to which he shook his head no and added: “I gotta do what I gotta do for my team to make it happen. He put us in the hole.”

Harvick is currently 28 points behind the cutoff to advance to the Sprint Cup Championship Race – dead last among the eight remaining Chasers.

Before Kenseth met with Harvick, he talked with the media this morning.

“I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever feel better about,” Kenseth said in reference to what occurred last weekend. “The only way I’ll probably feel a little better about it or whatever is if he makes it to Homestead, because if he doesn’t win a championship, at least it wasn’t because of my stupid mistake.

“But until then, I don’t know how much better I’ll feel about it.”

Kenseth also said that the only way the Martinsville situation could have been worse is if he had wrecked one of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, and that prior to last weekend, he and Harvick had gotten along well enough on the track for some time.

As for being on guard against possible retribution from Harvick in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Kenseth said he couldn’t worry about the things he can’t control.

“I don’t feel it’s ever constructive no matter what it’s about,” he added. “I really can’t spend any time worrying about it. He knows it was a mistake. I’ll try to make it as right as I can possibly make it and move on from there.

“I can only control my own car and what I do and all that stuff, and obviously, I did a poor job of that last weekend.”

Kenseth recovered from his incident with Harvick to finish sixth and hang on to the fourth and final advance position for the Sprint Cup Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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.