In radio interview, Carpenter says he’s “hopeful” CFH can retain Newgarden


One of the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series season this year has been Josef Newgarden, in his fourth year overall and fourth with the CFH Racing team – albeit first under the merged CFHR banner rather than the separate Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (where Newgarden was for his first three years) and Ed Carpenter Racing banners as existed previously.

Newgarden is a free agent at year’s end, currently on a one-year deal with an option for a second.

CFH team co-owner and Newgarden’s teammate, Ed Carpenter, is hopeful the smaller team that has persistently been a thorn in the Penske and Ganassi teams’ sides can retain his services.

“I don’t know. I’m hopeful,” Carpenter said Monday on Query & Schultz, on WNDE Radio in Indianapolis. “But with those things you can do, you never know what you can do. Make an offer that works for the team, and Josef will have to decide what he wants to do.

“I hope he recognizes what the team has done for him. He always has. We’ll see how it shakes out. Hopefully he’ll be with the team for a long time.”

Carpenter praised Newgarden’s ability level in their first year together as teammates. The American currently sits eighth in points with two wins and 296 laps led, which leads all drivers.

“Josef is a crazy talent. He’s racing at a high level right now,” Carpenter said. “He could have easily won that race [at Iowa]. He was one of the dominant cars.

“When we started CFH Racing, it was priority number one to get him signed, and why we continue to want him on the team, he’s a championship driver. Not many guys are of that caliber.

“He’s fun to work with. Great guy. Great talent.”

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.