IndyCar still yet to confirm 2016 finale location, date despite earlier Boston website schedule

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The new Grand Prix of Boston may still be the 2016 season finale for the Verizon IndyCar Series, but it isn’t at this point. At one stage, the race’s website had suggested it would be, but the copy has been changed.

A fan – Sean Kennedy (@_6thgear_) – caught this nugget on the track website and linked this post to Twitter:

Here is the screenshot of what that showed:

source:

An update to the track’s website, however, has now showed the “crowning of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion” verbiage removed.

Here’s the updated version:

source:

A series spokesperson told MotorSportsTalk in an email regarding the earlier version on the site, “I think they’re jumping the gun here, as confirmation of Boston as the finale (while possible) would be news to me.”

At time of announcing the Boston race in May, a contract of which goes through 2020, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles made no determination whether the race would be the finale or just on Labor Day. A local report the day before though had said Boston would be the finale.

“We haven’t confirmed that yet. It’s Labor Day. We won’t announce whether that, in fact, is the finale of the championship until we announce the full season,” Miles told reporters at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Miles did extoll the Labor Day date during the announcement.

“On so many levels this is really key to us. We’re delighted to have an anchor for the Labor Day weekend for the series and looking forward to getting there.

“They think that the Labor Day weekend for Boston is spot on, a great opportunity for them to bring more people into the city and to create a special holiday weekend.”

However, with Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway off the calendar for 2016 despite several dates from INDYCAR reportedly offered to the track for beyond that Labor Day date, Boston’s odds of becoming the season finale have in fact, increased.

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.