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Conor Daly interested in NASCAR Xfinity Series ride if IndyCar doesn’t pan out

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Another IndyCar driver has mentioned they’d like to give NASCAR a go of it.

James Hinchcliffe mentioned the possibility in 2015 of competing in a Xfinity Series road course race and Marco Andretti has floated the idea a couple of times in the last year.

Now it’s Conor Daly’s turn.

The 26-year-old driver, son of veteran racer and broadcaster Derek Daly, and step-son of Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles has 39 IndyCar starts since 2014. He competed full-time the last two seasons with Dale Coyne Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing.

Dale Coyne Racing has the last available seat ahead of the season, which starts March 11 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

On Racer.com’s “Week in IndyCar” podcast, Daly said he had potential sponsorship for that ride fall through around Christmas.

“But as usual when people have money and they get asked to put it up for grabs they disappear,” Daly said. “That’s happened many times before. We’ll try to find the answer to the price tag.”

If no doors open for him in IndyCar, Daly said he has had discussions with Xfinity teams about competing in one of their three road course races. IndyCar visits Mid-Ohio and Road America and raced at Watkins Glen in 2016 and 2017, but is not on the 2018 schedule.

“I’d love to try and do NASCAR stuff,” Daly said. “I’ve been trying to talk to Xfinity Series teams about their road course races. I think that would be very entertaining. I think it would be a great idea.

“I obviously love my IndyCar family, but if there’s no possibilities there and there seems to be some chances to be had in the NASCAR world, then I’m certainly going to take it, because I want to drive anything that I can.”

But Daly, who is appearing in the latest season of “The Amazing Race” with 2016 Indy 500 champion Alexander Rossi, said IndyCar is “my goal.”

“Obviously, it would really hurt to not be in IndyCar,” Daly said. “There’s only one seat left. I don’t know how much time I have to really try and nail it down.”

In the podcast, Daly also mentions the possibility of sports car racing and said he hasn’t yet looked into the possibility of Super Trucks.

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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.