Joni Wiman captures 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross title in Las Vegas

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No wins? No problem.

Needing a second-place finish in tonight’s Red Bull Global Rallycross final at The LINQ in Las Vegas to capture the 2014 championship, rookie Joni Wiman got the job done with a runner-up performance behind race winner and title rival Ken Block.

The full final will be broadcast on your local NBC station and NBC Sports Live Extra for online/mobile devices on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Wiman, driver of the No. 31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST, did not earn a single race win this season but earned the title by a mere five points over the Head Hoonigan In Charge.

But Block proved quite gracious in defeat. After Wiman climbed to the top of his car with fists in the air, Block saluted the new champion by doing donuts around him in his No. 43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford.

“I’m so happy for the team,” an exhausted but joyful Wiman said afterwards on tonight’s live-stream broadcast. “Everybody has worked hard. We’ve been believing in what we can do. My goal was to finish behind Ken, and I did. I feel like I have no legs right now.”

The 10-lap final was just a few seconds old when Scott Speed, the other title contender in the main event, made contact with Bucky Lasek going into Turn 1 while Block held the holeshot on the inside. Speed and Lasek went skidding into the tire barriers, and the race was red-flagged.

Both Speed and Lasek were able to return for the restart (Speed had to take that from the back row by order of Race Control), which saw Block take the holeshot and Wiman fall to third behind him and Lasek.

An undaunted Speed roared from the back and was up to fourth before taking the joker and moving to third past Wiman at the end of the opening lap. At that point, race leader Block was in position to win the title.

But on the fourth lap, Wiman decided to take the joker himself and got out ahead of both Lasek and Speed to move into second place.

“I didn’t get the call to do the joker, but I saw that I might have an opportunity to do it,” Wiman said.

That move on his part swung the championship back in his corner. Lasek and Speed initially hounded him for the runner-up spot, but Wiman ultimately got away from them.

And that was basically that. Block picked up his second victory of the season by almost a margin of three seconds, but Wiman, with his fifth podium finish and his fourth such finish in as many races, clinched the title.

“Unfortunately with the way the points were, no matter how well I did, it was kind of fate with whatever happened with Joni,” Block said. “He did a good job. He put himself in the right position – if he had been one more [spot] back, I would’ve won the championship.

“It is what it is. Myself, my team, we put in 100 percent. We did everything we could to win. I led every lap and it just wasn’t enough. But that’s racing.”

Lasek ended his 2014 campaign with his third podium of the year, while Speed finished fourth and secured third place in the standings at 37 points behind Wiman. Sverre Isachsen completed tonight’s Top 5 finishers, while Emma Gilmour finished seventh after becoming the first female in GRC history to make a Supercar main event following her advance out of the Last Chance Qualifier.

Nelson Piquet Jr., the fourth title contender going into Vegas, did not make the final after gearbox problems in his semifinal heat caused him to ultimately miss the LCQ. He ends the year fourth in points, 75 markers behind Wiman.

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.