Montoya looks to continue incredible 500-mile record at MAVTV 500

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Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Juan Pablo Montoya has six races to go in the 2015 season, including two 500-mile races, where the Colombian’s career record is simply ridiculous.

The Triple Crown hasn’t got much ink or play this year, but with the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway this weekend and the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in August, Montoya has two good chances to add to his win in the 99th Indianapolis 500.

He enters what will be his 10th 500-mile race in IndyCar this weekend, and the stats, courtesy of Justice Brothers, Inc. and Shunck & Associates, are gaudy:

 Race Start Finish Laps Led
1999 U.S. 500 – Michigan International Speedway 3rd 2nd 250/250 28
1999 Marlboro 500 – Auto Club Speedway 3rd 4th 250/250 13
2000 Indianapolis 500 2nd WIN 200/200 167
2000 U.S. 500 – Michigan International Speedway 7th WIN 250/250 39
2000 Marlboro 500 – Auto Club Speedway 5th 10th (blown engine) 219/250 33
2014 Indianapolis 500 10th 5th 200/200 16
2014 Pocono 500 1st WIN 200/200 45
2014 MAVTV500 – Auto Club Speedway 2nd 4th 250/250 85
2015 Indianapolis 500 15th WIN 200/200 9
 Averages/Totals 5.33 3.22 2019/2050 435
In total:
 – Nine career “500” mile Indy car races.
 – Four WINS.
 – Two Indy 500 wins, 1 win at MIS and 1 win at Pocono.
 – LED in ALL nine “500” mile races.
 – Completed 98.48% of all “500” mile race laps – finished every race lap in 1999, 2014 and 2015.  In 2000 blew an engine in the Marlboro 500.
 – Has led 21.2% of all possible laps in “500” mile races he has run.

Montoya has never won at Auto Club Speedway before, but as you see above, he hasn’t exactly struggled with two fourths and a blown engine while in win contention in 2000.

He won his first IndyCar start at Pocono last year.

And he’s an early favorite to keep up this incredible run this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

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.