Even with Dixon’s 2nd win of 2015, Montoya maintains strong lead in IndyCar point standings

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Saturday’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway marked the start of the second half of the 16-race Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

But just like it has been throughout the first half, Juan Pablo Montoya continues to maintain his stranglehold on the VICS points standings.

Race winner Scott Dixon joined Montoya as the only drivers with two victories thus far this season.

However, because Montoya finished fourth, Dixon wasn’t able to appreciably cut Montoya’s lead. Dixon still trails Montoya by 43 points. Will Power remains in second place, 35 points behind Montoya.

In fact, there was no change in the first five positions in the standings.

The driver making the biggest gain in the points was Tony Kanaan, who finished second in Saturday’s race. Kanaan climbed three spots in the standings, from 12th to 9th.

Gaining two spots each were Sebatian Bourdais (up to 7th), and Jack Hawksworth (up to 17th).

Gaining one spot each was Marco Andretti (up to 6th), Charlie Kimball (up to 10th), Takuma Sato (up to 14th), James Jakes (up to 15th) and Gabby Chaves (up to 16th).

Simon Pagenaud suffered the biggest loss in the standings, dropping two spots that knocked him out of the top 10 and down to 11th.

Losing one spot was Carlos Munoz (down to 12th).

IndyCar Standings

As of: Firestone 600 +/- Points Behind Wins
1  Juan Pablo Montoya #2 348 2
2  Will Power #1 313 35 1
3  Scott Dixon #9 305 43 2
4  Helio Castroneves #3 286 62 0
5  Graham Rahal #15 261 87 0
6  Marco Andretti #27 +1 255 93 0
7  Sebastien Bourdais #11 +2 244 104 1
8  Josef Newgarden #67 215 133 1
9  Tony Kanaan #10 +3 215 133 0
10  Charlie Kimball #83 +1 214 134 0
11  Simon Pagenaud #22 -2 213 135 0
12  Carlos Munoz #26 -1 208 140 1
13  Ryan Hunter-Reay #28 183 165 0
14  Takuma Sato #14 +1 180 168 0
15  James Jakes #7 +1 155 193 0
16  Gabby Chaves #98 +1 153 195 0
17  Jack Hawksworth #41 +2 135 213 0
18  James Hinchcliffe #5 -1 129 219 1
19  Luca Filippi #20 120 228 0
20   Stefano Coletti #4 115 233 0

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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.