Pro Stock Motorcycle to return to next summer’s NHRA race in Brainerd, Minn.


Drag racing fans of the two-wheel variety, namely Pro Stock Motorcycle, will be happy to know that the bikes will return next summer to Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway for the annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Sanctioning body officials announced Friday that the bikes will be back at Brainerd after a two-year hiatus, ready to click off 190-plus mph speeds at under seven seconds.

Andrew Hines, who won his fourth NHRA PSM national championship last month, holds both ends of the PSM track record at Brainerd: 6.865 seconds (set in 2012) and a blistering 196.82 mph (set in 2005).

Hines also has the most individual event wins among PSM riders at Brainerd with two triumphs.

Other past Brainerd winners are Hector Arana Sr., Eddie Krawiec, Matt Smith and LE Tonglet.

PSM’s return to Brainerd will be part of a 16-race schedule for the two-wheelers, with 10 races during the regular season (which begins March 12-15 at Gainesville Raceway in Florida) and six races during the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

2015 NHRA Mello Yello Series Schedule (Pro Stock Motorcycle)

Regular Season

March 12-15, Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.

March 27-29, NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.

May 15-17, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, Commerce, Ga.

June 4-7, Toyota NHRA Summernationals, Englishtown, N.J.

July 2-5, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio

July 9-12, NHRA Route 66 Nationals, Chicago

July 24-26, Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver

July 31-Aug. 2, NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.

Aug. 20-23, Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.

Sept. 2-7, Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis


Countdown to the Championship

Sept. 18-20, NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.

Sept. 25-27, AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis

Oct. 1-4, NHRA Keystone Nationals, Reading, Pa.

Oct. 15-18, AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas

Oct. 29-Nov. 1, NHRA Toyota Nationals, Las Vegas

Nov. 12-15, Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.

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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.