(Photo and video courtesy Dancing With The Stars)

James Hinchcliffe and back-up partner wow in Dancing With The Stars

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When something happens to his primary race car, Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe typically goes to a backup ride.

Doing that when his primary partner in Dancing With The Stars is suddenly sidelined with an injury, and Hinchcliffe has to go to a backup partner – well, that might not be so easy.

But the Canadian driver and fill-in partner Jenna Johnson made it look more than easy, as if they had been dancing together for years, as they dominated Monday’s edition of DWTS.

Not only did the pair earn a perfect score of 30, they also received five bonus points as they continued to be one of the favorites to win the overall competition.

Johnson replaced Hinchcliffe’s original partner, Sharna Burgess, after she injured her knee in a fall and will need at least a few weeks of rest to recover.

Burgess and Hinchcliffe had complete faith Johnson could step in (or is that dance in?) and make them proud – and she did.

DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba said the couple’s Viennese waltz to Grace’s “You Don’t Own Me” was “beyond incredible.”

Fellow judge Julianne Hough added, “You are the real deal because you can dance with any partner.”

In keeping with the show’s airing on Halloween night, all contestants were dressed in costumes. Hinchcliffe was dressed as The Joker, while Johnson was dressed as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad.

Check out a tweet from the show that included Hinchcliffe’s and Johnson’s dance.

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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.