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Pocono keeps same IndyCar weekend date in 2018

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As news of the full Verizon IndyCar Series calendar is still due out in the coming days, depending on when or if the Mexico race possibility gets sorted, tracks have taken it upon themselves to put out race dates of their own.

The latest is Pocono Raceway, which has confirmed the same weekend and two days of August 18-19, 2018 for the ABC Supply 500, as ABC Supply Co. continues its title sponsorship. This year’s weekend was August 19-20.

That leaves it a week before Gateway as part of a likely same three-week-in-a-row run from Pocono to Gateway to Watkins Glen, although the latter date hasn’t been announced yet.

“The 2017 ABC Supply 500 proved why Pocono Raceway was built for INDYCAR racing,” said Pocono Raceway CEO Nick Igdalsky. “This summer’s race was one of the most competitive events in our track’s history. It was also the highest-attended INDYCAR race we hosted since bringing open-wheel racing back here five years ago. From conversations I have had about the 2018 body, we should see speeds pushing, if not exceeding, 240 miles per hour next year.”

Tickets go on sale to the public starting October 4.

With this confirmation, it leaves Green Savoree Racing Promotions events at Toronto and Mid-Ohio – both of which are on an IndyCar schedule through at least 2020 owing to a recently announced Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires extensions – and Watkins Glen as 2017 race venues that have yet to announce their 2018 dates, but they’d be expected in their same weekends as this year.

Announced 2018 IndyCar dates so far:

  • March 11, St. Petersburg
  • April 7, Phoenix
  • April 15, Long Beach
  • April 22, Barber
  • May 12, INDYCAR Grand Prix
  • May 27, Indianapolis 500
  • June 2-3, Detroit doubleheader
  • June 9, Texas
  • June 24, Road America
  • July 8, Iowa
  • August 19, Pocono
  • August 25, Gateway
  • Sept. 16, Sonoma

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.