Is a NASCAR TV analyst career in Jeff Gordon’s future? ‘I’d entertain it’

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Would Jeff Gordon trade his helmet for a headset after exiting his No. 24 Chevrolet after the 2015 Sprint Cup Season?

The four-time series champion said Friday morning he would consider a career as a TV analyst in NASCAR after he leaves full-time competition this year.

“I love the sport,” Gordon said during an interview with “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM Radio’s NASCAR channel. “I’m very passionate about it. I love to critique it. I think I could do a good job with that. I don’t think it’s an easy job. I’ll be honest. I have a lot of respect for those that do it from radio and TV. I’d entertain it.”

Multiple sources have told MotorSportsTalk that Gordon put out feelers to TV networks last year about the possibility of eventually entering the broadcast booth.

It’s become a common transition for several retiring stars with affable personalities. Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty are among many who have become familiar faces as TV analysts. Jeff Burton will become the latest in July when NBC Sports begins its 10-year deal of broadcasting NASCAR Sprint Cup races.

As a frequent guest host on Live! With Kelly and Michael and the only race car driver to host Saturday Night Live (in January 2003), Gordon is a natural in front of the camera.

But Gordon, who hasn’t ruled out racing in myriad series beginning in 2016, said he would be spending the season mulling his next step.

“I don’t know if (TV is) at the top of my list right now,” Gordon said. “Throughout this year, one of the things I have to get acclimated to is actually to have a real job. That’s going to be an adjustment.

“When you’re a race car driver, you’ve got it pretty good. At the Cup level, I’ve had it really good. I’ve been able to do something I enjoy, I’m challenged with, I’m good at. Finding that next thing to do is not going to be like that. I hope it’s something I’m passionate about and love to do, but it’s certainly going to have a different schedule and mindset.”

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.