“NASCAR” is most frequently used word among Indiana online dating profiles

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When you think about how much racing means in the state of Indiana, this next bit of news is hardly surprising.

Recently, Mashable decided to ask online dating service Match.com to analyze thousands of U.S.-based online dating profiles in an attempt to discover how daters’ habits and interests differed from state to state.

To that end, Match.com ultimately found the most-frequently used word in the profiles from each state.

And when it came down to the Hoosier State, the most-used word in that state’s profiles was…”NASCAR.”

One would figure that a state from the South, the region where NASCAR was created, would have gotten that distinction. But, no.

Daters in North Carolina – home of NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and some of the greatest drivers to ever compete in the sport – most frequently used the word “mountains” in their profiles.

And what about Florida, where NASCAR was founded (and still has its headquarters) and which hosts both the Daytona 500 and the Sprint Cup Championship Race at Homestead? Daters there most frequently used the word “Disney.”

Alabama and Georgia daters? “Grilling.” South Carolina daters? “Downtown.” Tennessee daters? “Porch.” Virginia daters? “Military.” Kentucky daters? “Basketball.”

OK, the last two states and Florida should be rather self-explanatory. But perhaps this is just another sign of how NASCAR’s spread itself beyond its Southern roots.

Or maybe it’s just a funny exercise in data journalism. Probably both.

Meanwhile, we have to wonder: How much did “IndyCar” or “Indy 500” get used in those profiles from Indiana? But seriously, IndyCar has bigger things to worry about – like preparing for 2015, for example.

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.