Photo: Rising Star Racing

Samsung signs on for Pigot’s No. 20 car at final two races

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – The latest new sponsor thanks to Rising Star Racing has come on board Spencer Pigot’s effort for the final two races of the Verizon IndyCar Series season at Watkins Glen International and Sonoma Raceway.

Samsung will adorn the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet for the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion, who’s participated in all but two road and street course races this season plus the Indianapolis 500 in his rookie year in IndyCar.

Pigot’s No. 20 car has had Fuzzy’s Vodka signage in his starts, but this is a fresh change that sees black, purple and blue take over on the No. 20 car, which differentiates it from Josef Newgarden’s No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.

“RSR works to pair the best young drivers in American open-wheel racing with companies that view these drivers as valued assets that can help them grow their businesses,” said Rising Star Racing principal Art Wilmes. “Samsung has chosen to partner with RSR, and particularly Spencer Pigot for the rest of the race season. The RSR model is unique, but our efforts continue to be successful. We’re happy to be a small part of the Verizon IndyCar Series supporting both Spencer Pigot and Josef Newgarden.”

“I’m really excited to have Samsung on the No. 20 car for Watkins Glen and Sonoma,” Pigot added. “This is a massive company with global reach, and I’m glad we were able to put this together with the help of my sponsor Rising Star Racing. Ed Carpenter Racing is a world class team and it’s a real honor to have a company with worldwide name recognition on one of our cars.”

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.