Dave Blaney to leave NASCAR racing to son Ryan, but will increase dirt racing schedule in 2015

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It appears Dave Blaney will leave any NASCAR racing in the future to son Ryan.

According to an interview with PennLive.com, the elder Blaney – who is competing in this weekend’s World Of Outlaws World Finals in Charlotte – appears ready to return to his sprint car racing roots on a fairly busy part-time level in 2015.

“I don’t plan on running any NASCAR at the moment,” Blaney told PennLive.com.

Blaney’s decision is not surprising. It’s a matter of economics (lack of financial support) and performance (lack of a competitive ride).

“I’m not in any position to get any kind of ride that is going to be competitive,” the elder Blaney said.

But he’ll still be a familiar face at NASCAR races when he can.

“I will go to a lot of races to watch Ryan,” Dave Blaney said.

Dave Blaney plns to compete in as many as 50 to 60 sprint car races in 2015, which is nearly double of a NASCAR Sprint Cup or Nationwide (soon to be Xfinity) Series yearly slate.

“By no means will [sprint cars] be full time, but it could be a lot more than this year,” said Blaney, who will have competed in 25 races this season vs. just seven in the NASCAR Sprint Cup world. “I could even see a 60-race schedule if things line up perfect.”

But, Blaney also added the exact opposite could happen, too: “I could also see 15 (races) as well, but we will see.”

Inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame earlier this year, Blaney, 52, said the time is right for him to back to playing in the dirt on a regular basis, so to speak. However, he has had his struggles at times in several of the sprint car events he’s competed in this season.

“It’s just the way it is when you haven’t done it much in the last 15 years,” Blaney told PennLive. “… But I love being around these things, driving the cars, working on them and being a part of these races.”

Before his career path led him to NASCAR nearly 15 years ago, Blaney was a sprint car standout, including winning the WoO STP Sprint Car Series championship in 1995 and the USAC Silver Crown title in 1984, one season after being chosen All-Star Sprint Circuit Rookie-of-the-Year.

Right now, Blaney’s expectations for 2015 on the dirt are pretty fluid.

“I’m going to fart around and see how it goes,” Blaney said. “It’s tough racing these things when you are part time. You just aren’t as good.

“Maybe I would be better off going full time. We would get more out of the car and out of me, but I’m not too worried about it. We’ll see what happens.”

Another part has to do with watching Ryan, who races for Penske Racing.

“I don’t want to go off and race [sprint cars] and not be with him,” Blaney said. “I want to be there and be a part of it.”

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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.