Photo: Leah Pritchett Racing

NHRA: Leah Pritchett, Quaker State crew back for one-off in Houston

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Leah Pritchett and her Quaker State crew, led by veteran crew chiefs Mike Guger and Joe Barlam, will be reunited for one more race at Quaker State’s home race in Houston this weekend in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

It will see the Bob Vandergriff Racing team back together despite Vandergriff’s unexpected and shock retirement after Las Vegas.

Pritchett (Lagana Racing) and her teammate Dave Connolly did find one-off rides for the next round in Charlotte, the Four-Wide Nationals, last week at ZMAX Dragway.

The chance for the quick reunion comes thanks to Quaker State wanting an appearance in its home race.

“I’m so grateful to have growing relationships with sponsors like Quaker and FireAde that stand behind us, share common goals, and work hard with me to keep in the game,” she said.

“I’m also beyond stoked to have my crew back together for Houston. There is a unique, seamlessly misfit, yet professional bond among us that I love. To be reunited, even if it is for just this one race. I’m pumped to the max to hunt down that SpringNationals Top Fuel Wally together.”

Pritchett won her first career Wally at Phoenix earlier this year, and currently sits 10th in Top Fuel points. Here’s more from her website.

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

VEACH OUT: Driver elects to vacate seat for rest of season

“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”