INDYCAR

Marco Andretti confirmed in No. 98 Andretti-Herta IndyCar entry

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Andretti Autosport and Bryan Herta Autosport have confirmed an extension of their partnership in the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2018 season, with Marco Andretti stepping into the No. 98 Honda entry.

Andretti and Herta started working together in 2016 upon Alexander Rossi’s arrival in the series, highlighted by a famous victory in the 100th Indianapolis 500.

Rossi continued in the No. 98 Andretti-Herta entry through 2017, taking one race win and two further podium finishes, with the American driver signing a new multi-year deal with Andretti earlier this year.

Herta stepped back from his hands-on involvement in the No. 98 entry to call strategy for Marco Andretti, combining for five top-10 finishes across the course of the season.

Andretti will now transfer over to the No. 98 Andretti-Herta entry for the 2018 season to work closer with the team, while Rossi will move in the opposite direction, racing in the No. 27 Andretti car.

“I’m thrilled to be continuing the partnership with Andretti Autosport. The relationship has worked really well both on and off the track for us and our partners,” Herta said.

“I’m looking forward to moving back onto the No. 98 timing stand with Marco and can’t wait to get the 2018 season started.”

“I’m very much looking forward to being in the Andretti-Herta entry. My goal is to bring the No. 98 another Indy 500 win along with many other victories,” added Andretti.

“Working with Bryan has been refreshing – he is very committed to getting me all the tools I need to get back into victory circle. He believes in my talent and is dedicated to turn that into results.”

The deal confirms a four-car full-season entry for Andretti across the two teams, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and newcomer Zach Veach joining Rossi and Andretti.

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.