NBC Sportsworld: Joe Posnanski on the life and times of NASCAR’s King, Richard Petty

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After 200 victories and seven championships, Richard Petty ran his last NASCAR race on November 15, 1992.

More than two decades later, the life of NASCAR’s King is no longer being run at 200 miles per hour. But it’s still very much running along.

Whether it’s meeting his fans at the Petty Museum in North Carolina or helping tend to the Sprint Cup team that bears his name, there’s always something to do.

He’s 77 years old and long removed from the cockpit, but he still can’t stop. And he doesn’t plan to.

As Petty summed up recently for NBCSports.com columnist Joe Posnanski: “Guess I’ll keep moving ’til I drop.”

Petty has seen incredible highs and lows, both byproducts of the racing life. Those moments are chronicled in Posnanski’s latest piece, “Life And Times of the King,” which is now up on NBC Sportsworld, the new home of NBC Sports’ long-form stories and documentaries.

As Petty winds his way through the museum that pays tribute to he and his family’s accomplishments in American motorsports, he tells Posnanski of tales like how he and brother Maurice attempted to pave the garage floor for father Lee when they were pre-teens (“It’s sorta straight if you look at it right,” Petty says); his late wife, Lynda, handling the pressures of the real world so he could focus on his racing; and him dealing with the numerous tragedies that befell him in his career (“You don’t put a question mark where God put a period,” he says while, as Posnanski writes, staring into nothingness).

For every fan of the King and NASCAR history, it’s a must-read.

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.