Jeff Gordon offers classy ‘thank you’ message to his fans

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Alongside the word “classy” in the dictionary, there should be a photo of Jeff Gordon.

Sure, Gordon was more than patient in a very long, trying and emotional day to members of the media, fellow racers and the like when he announced Thursday that 2015 will be his final season of racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

But Gordon didn’t forget perhaps the most important people in his life other than his wife and children: his millions of fans.

Gordon posted a short video on his web site, JeffGordon.com, in which he sincerely thanked his fans for their support – and also wanted to tell them directly, from his heart, why he was making such a decision at this point in his life.

You can check out the video below, but here���s some choice comments that, again, showed just how classy Gordon is.

* “Hey everyone, this is a message to all the Jeff Gordon, 24 fans out there, HMS fans. This is an exciting day for me. It’s an emotional day.”

* “All I ever dreamed about as a kid was one day I could be a race car driver.”

* “We’re going to go out and be competitive in that final year, and knowing we have all the support of the fans out there. I know some of you are probably disappointed, but I’ve been thinking about this day for a long time.”

* “I just think about how proud I am to have the fans that I have, the team that I have and to have had this amazing career. I can’t wait for this final year. It’s going to be a tough one emotionally, but it’s also going to be a really fun one that I look forward to and that final race at Homestead.”

Check out Gordon’s video:

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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.