Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Garett Grist set for 100th race on home soil in Toronto

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Grimsby, Ontario’s Garett Grist makes his return to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship this weekend after sitting out the Iowa Speedway oval, and with a big milestone he’s hitting this weekend on home soil in Toronto:

The 21-year-old will start his 100th race this weekend as part of the Indy Lights doubleheader, driving the No. 3 Gap Guard/Lander Property Management/Mac Tools Dallara IL-15 Mazda for Team Pelfrey.

Grist is a four-year veteran of the Mazda Road to Indy and here’s been his past results on the streets of Exhibition Place:

  • 2015, Pro Mazda: 5th in race one, WON in race two
  • 2013, USF2000: 22nd in race one, 6th in race two
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

“I am really looking forward to this weekend,” Grist said in an advance release. “It’s always great to come home for your home race, and it’s great that my friends and family are able to come out and watch. Winning last year was massive. This year I hope to do the same.

“It will be my second weekend in Indy Lights so I’m still new, but the pace we showed at Road America in my first weekend was great especially with myself and the team having never been there before. There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to run at the front this weekend.”

As noted, Grist was unlucky not to finish better than seventh and 10th in his Indy Lights debut weekend at Road America because he’d made a mistake in the second race. He felt pleased with his performance, though.

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.