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NHRA: Courtney Force to run Taylor Swift album livery in Pomona

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Courtney Force has unveiled a special livery to her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS for this weekend’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season finale at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.

And she’ll be hoping her reaction time will be feeling 0.022.

Force today revealed, in partnership with Big Machine Records, a Taylor Swift livery in advance of her new album, “Reputation,” which is released on Friday, November 10.

“I’ve had an incredible experience working with our partners Advance Auto Parts and Big Machine Records this season and am honored to drive the special Taylor Swift reputation Funny Car for our final race in Pomona,” Force said. “My team and I are always playing her songs to get in the zone and prepare to battle it out against the boys on race day. I hope to finish out our season on a high note while promoting Taylor’s album release at over 330 mph and hopefully celebrating in the winner’s circle with my team on Sunday.”

“Having Taylor’s reputation album art on Courtney’s car for the NHRA championship weekend, which also happens to coincide with the Nov. 10 release is the perfect match of two game-changers who are truly the best of the best,” added Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Label Group President and CEO.

Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time T-Swift and racing have been intertwined.

Swift performed her lone major concert of 2016 at that year’s United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

Meanwhile in 2015, Tony Kanaan ran the No. 10 Taylor Swift Big Machine Records Chevrolet at the Verizon IndyCar Series race in Detroit. Swift was performing in Detroit that weekend.

Tony Kanaan in 2015. Photo: IndyCar

As for Force, she enters this weekend in third place at 125 points behind John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight, who leads the Funny Car standings. Ron Capps is second and just 15 back as he searches for his second straight title.

Force is yet to win a final round this year but has used a mix of consistency and No. 1 qualifying runs – including a four-in-a-row run earlier this year – to stay in the championship hunt. She’d need to win this race and hope for quite a bit of bad luck hitting Hight and Capps early in the eliminations to overcome the deficit.

“Even though we haven’t gotten a win yet this season, at least we’re being consistent,” Force said. “And I think that’s the most important thing. You can definitely win a championship with a consistent car, rather than just having a fling and one great run, or a killer record run. Not having consistency won’t get you anywhere. I’m really proud of my guys. So far this season, having a consistent race car is what we need.”

“I think everyone going into the final race wants to get that win. Obviously, we’ve been right there, been in multiple final rounds. Like I said, we’ve had a consistent race car all year, but have yet to get in the winner’s circle. But at least we’ve made a lot of great strides this entire year, learned a lot, and found that consistency that we were kind of missing last year. We would love to finish off the season on a high note and take home that win. We were close at Vegas, so hopefully we can keep the momentum going into Pomona, and it’s going to be a great race and a lot of exciting things are going to happen.”

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.