Andretti Autosport spotters rack up more miles than their drivers in Texas

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If Cole and Dane Carter decided to sleep in Sunday or Monday, few would likely blame them – especially after the three wild and crazy days they went through last week.

The sons of 17-time Indianapolis 500 competitor and 1985 Indy 500 polesitter Duane “Pancho” Carter, Cole and Dane work as spotters for Andretti Autosport.

Dane spots for Marco Andretti, while Cole spots for Belle Isle #1 winner Carlos Munoz.

But this past weekend, both Carter brothers spent as much time on the road as they did atop the spotter’s stand at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

The reason: both brothers also had to spot 200 miles away in Austin, Texas for the Red Bull Global Rallycross event in the X Games. Dane spotted for Tanner Foust, while Cole spotted for Scott Speed.

It was a most productive weekend for the team: Speed won the gold medal in the X Games Red Bull GRC event in Austin, while Andretti and Munoz finished 5-6 in the Firestone 600 at TMS – a week after Munoz and Andretti finished 1-2 in the Belle Isle #1 race on May 30.

The Carter brothers’ great adventure began last Thursday, when they flew from the team base in Indianapolis to Fort Worth.

As soon as they hit the ground, they hit the road towards Austin, 200 miles away, for a three-hour rallycross practice. Once that was over, they piled back in their rental car and drove north to TMS for Friday’s Firestone 600 practice and qualifying.

Then it was back on the road back to Austin later that same night for the X Games’ heat races and main event Saturday afternoon, only to put the pedal back to the metal to get back to Fort Worth for that evening’s IndyCar race.

If our math is correct, the brothers covered 800 miles in total to do their jobs, which was more mileage than their own drivers laid down on the racetracks.

Talk about a massive commute!

Read more about the Carter brothers’ exploits this past weekend at IndyCar.com.

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.