Marco Andretti seeks a win, chance to enter top three in points in Texas


He hasn’t won a race since 2011, but hot off a double top-five weekend in Detroit, Marco Andretti is primed to end his drought this weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Andretti starred very early in last year’s race, with some great passes in the opening three laps from 17th on the grid, before an engine issue took him out of the race.

With Andretti Autosport sponsor Snapple based not far from the Fort Worth-based track in Dallas, this would be an ideal place for Andretti to snap his winless streak.

“Texas Motor Speedway always produces a great race. I’ve always liked the night race there. We need to keep a streak going of top-five finishes to build on points.

“We are pushing as hard as ever to get a win – especially in Snapple’s backyard of Dallas. It’ll be great to give them a win at home. If we can keep gaining on it and get a win, we can move up into the top three in the championship.”

Andretti moved up to seventh in the points, now just 28 behind third-placed Scott Dixon, after his finishes of second and fifth in Detroit. He is the second highest-placed Honda driver, only behind now fifth-placed Graham Rahal.

Andretti’s best finish at Texas is third in 2010. In 2013, he started second and finished fifth.

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.