Rahal, Kimball out early in Detroit (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Two of the top-five finishers in the Indianapolis 500 – Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball – are out in the first 15 laps in the first race of this weekend’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans.

On a Lap 6 restart in race one, a four-car incident took Rahal out of the race, and also involved Tony Kanaan, James Jakes and Stefano Coletti.

The field, which is running on a rain-soaked track, was entering Turn 1 when Coletti, Jakes and Kanaan went three-wide. Coletti bounced off of Jakes’ left-rear tire and into Kanaan, sending his No. 10 Chevrolet sponsored by Big Machine Records and featuring Taylor Swift’s THE 1989 WORLD TOUR into the tire barrier.

Rahal then came onto the scene and having nowhere to go, ran into the back of Kanaan’s car, damaging his right-front wheel.

“I think a lot of people are just taking stupid chances early in the race,” Rahal told ABC. “(Josef) Newgarden dove underneath me and I was letting him go and unfortunately, that put me a car width off the inside and Kanaan and Jakes crashed.”

The result ends a three-race streak of top-five finishes for Rahal and his No. 15 Steak N’ Shake team.

“It’s impossible to see right now (because of the rain),” Rahal said. “You just got to be smart out there, be really, really cautious. I was just playing this out as a 70-lap race or two hours, and I don’t think lot of guys are right now.”

The other three cars involved remain in the race, Coletti runs in 11th and Kanaan and Jakes are listed in 22nd and 20th.

Shortly thereafter, Kimball smacked the wall exiting Turn 2, and his No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was done on the spot.

“We caught up and I just hit a puddle into 2 and the car just snapped,” Kimball told ABC’s Jon Beekhuis. “It’s a shame but we’ll come back tomorrow and have a good race.”

It ends a run of three consecutive top-five finishes for Rahal and two in a row for Kimball.

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.