Scott Dixon tops speed charts in second practice for Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Scott Dixon set the fastest lap of the weekend so far with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 7.7940 seconds in the second practice session for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Friday afternoon.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver led Ryan Hunter-Reay, the fastest in practice 1, by a margin of 0.0494 seconds in a session which saw the top 19 drivers all separated by less than a second.

Dixon’s teammate, Felix Rosenqvist. was third fastest with a time of 1 minute, 7.8867 seconds, followed by Team Penkse’s Josef Newgarden and Patricio O’Ward’s Carlin Racing Chevrolet. 2018 Long Beach champion Alexander Rossi finished the session 6th fastest.

Some surprising names were to be found further down in the practice results. Will Power finished the session 14th fastest, and last weekend’s winner, Takuma Sato, finished the session 18th quickest.

Three-time Long Beach winner Sebastien Bourdais ended the session 19th quickest, though with a third practice session tomorrow morning, don’t be surprised to see all three drivers find speed and qualify towards the front of the pack during NTT P1 qualifying tomorrow afternoon.

Watch the race on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN or at NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app

The 45 minute practice session was stopped only once, when the reg flag came out with 23 minutes remaining due to Matheus Leist stalling in turn 9. The green flag came back 5 minutes later after crews removed Leist’s A.J. Foyt Racing machine from the racing surface.

Full Practice 2 results 

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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.