IndyCar 2015 team preview: Dale Coyne Racing

Leave a comment

We only half-jokingly wrote about Dale Coyne’s second car being a TBA last year before St. Petersburg. A full two weeks before the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season though, and Coyne had the TBA brothers pulling double duty.

Team: Dale Coyne Racing
Engines/aero kits: Honda
Sponsors: TBA (No. 18), Boy Scouts of America/Sonny’s BBQ (No. 19)

2014 STATS

Races: 18
Wins: 1 (Huertas)
Podiums: 1 (Huertas)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 730 (Wilson 395, Huertas 314, Mann 21)
Laps Led: 32 (Wilson 25, Huertas 7)
Championship Position: 15th (Wilson), 20th (Huertas), 33rd (Mann)

2015 LINEUP (Engineers in parentheses)

18 Carlos Huertas (Rob Ridgely)
19 Francesco Dracone (first four races; Michael Cannon)

2014 RECAP (Wilson, Huertas driver recaps)

If you look at the above statistics and note a full-season lineup of Justin Wilson and Carlos Huertas, and also note the team’s only win and podium came from Huertas in Houston race one, you’d pretty much have your jaw drop. It was one of the most unexpected triumphs in IndyCar in years, but still a well-executed one from the DCR team, whose strategy rose to the fore. Wilson fought through a year where he lacked either luck or speed depending on the weekend; Huertas generally exceeded expectations on road and street courses, although outside of Indianapolis he struggled on ovals in his rookie season.

2015 OUTLOOK

The good news, as usual, is that Dale Coyne Racing will show up with a two-car lineup. The bad news, if any, is that as of March 15 the team hadn’t announced either of its drivers for the season. The personnel is there to support whoever winds up driving the cars, and the addition of Stuart Kenworthy for the team’s shock and damper development is a good one. Meanwhile Huertas, Dracone, and Rodolfo Gonzalez have tested the team’s two cars; Dracone had the disadvantage of running a 2015-spec floor with 2014-spec aero during the Barber open test. Huertas has some potential to improve upon his rookie season.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.