Photo: IndyCar

Power goes 232-plus to pace Fast Friday for Indy 500

1 Comment

INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power was fast both in a tow and, more importantly, without one to top the timesheets in Friday’s Fast Friday practice session for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

The driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet put Roger Penske’s squad on the top of the board for the first time this week, after Andretti Autosport (Monday and Wednesday) and Dale Coyne Racing (Thursday) having also topped the charts.

Power’s best tow speed was 232.672 mph, one of two drivers in the 232 bracket (Josef Newgarden was second in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet at 232.344) and one of 18 overall north of 230 mph. The boost level was increased from 130 kPa to 140 kPa, which provides roughly a 40 to 50 horsepower increase, and most teams took a significant amount of downforce off the cars.

Power was second on the more important no-tow charts at 231.339 mph (38.9040 seconds), and only just behind NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell in the No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda for Andretti Autosport.

Bell’s no-tow speed was 231.342 mph, and 38.9034 seconds.

In the no-tow speed charts, there were seven Hondas (four Andretti, two Schmidt, one Coyne) and only three Chevrolets.

More than an hour was lost to a mid-afternoon sprinkle, but not enough to end track activity early.

Speeds are below:



Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.