Chaves targets podium in chase for IndyCar Rookie of the Year award

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Gabby Chaves is hoping to strengthen his grip on the provisional Rookie of the Year honors in the Verizon IndyCar Series by scoring his first podium in the final five races of the year.

Chaves stepped up to IndyCar in 2015 with Bryan Herta Autosport after winning Indy Lights in 2014, and has recorded two top ten finishes in the opening 11 races of the season.

The Colombian driver currently ranks 16th in the drivers’ championship, 38 points clear of next rookie Stefano Coletti.

Chaves is keen to improve on his season-best result of ninth in Detroit by breaking into the top five and challenging for a podium finish in the final five races of the year, starting this weekend at the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile.

“Coming off of a tough weekend at Fontana, I’m pretty excited to get things going once again after a short break here and can focus on Milwaukee and getting back on track to the results we want to see,” Chaves said.

“Coming on to the final stretch of the championship, we’re definitely wanting to break into the top five, challenging for a podium position before the year is over.

“So we will be working very hard this weekend to take the steps into that direction.”

Chaves has raced at the Milwaukee Mile twice before, both times in Indy Lights, finishing fourth in 2013 and third in 2014.

For full broadcast details ahead of the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250, click here.

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.