El nuevo campeón: Abraham Calderón captures NASCAR Mexico title

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Only four points separated championship rivals Abraham Calderón and Ruben Garcia Jr. going into Sunday’s NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series season finale at Puebla, Mexico.

But early-race contact with another competitor hampered Garcia’s efforts, and Calderón ended up taking the title with a seventh-place finish in the Ficrea 240, which was won by Homero Richards.

Calderón, who along with Garcia recently took part in this year’s NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine, earned the first Mexico Series championship for his Telcel team since 2011 despite not taking a single race win this year.

But his five Top-5s, 11 Top-10s, and average finish of eighth were enough to see him through by a nine-point margin over Garcia, who finished 12th on Sunday. For more reaction from Calderón, check out his post-race comments here.

Up front at Puebla, Richards survived a pair of green-white-checkered attempts to earn his second win of the season over Rogelio Lopez, Irwin Vences, Rafael Martinez, and Patrick Goeters.

In what may be his final NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series race for a little while, Daniel Suarez – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Nationwide/XFINITY Series driver-to-be – finished sixth after suffering from mechanical issues early.

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.