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IndyCar’s Colton Herta will run special ‘Yankee Pinstripes’ paint scheme to honor Hank Steinbrenner

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The late Hank Steinbrenner will be remembered by Andretti Autosport in Saturday’s Firestone 175 virtual race at Twin Ring Motegi. The 63-year-old Steinbrenner passed away Tuesday after a lengthy illness in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

He was co-owner and co-chairman of the famed New York Yankees of Major League Baseball.

His son, George Michael Steinbrenner, IV is one of the team principals at Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport. Colton Herta’s No. 88 Capstone Turbine car will run a special New York Yankees “Pinstripe” paint scheme in honor of honor of the late Hank Steinbrenner.

“My dad was a massive racing fan and was Steinbrenner Racing’s biggest fan,” said George Steinbrenner IV. “He was so supportive of me and the team, so it’s special to be able to honor him with a livery — even in the virtual world. A massive thanks to Capstone as well for the collaboration in honoring his memory.”

The livery, developed with Capstone Turbine and the Steinbrenner family, features the iconic blue and white pinstripes of the New York Yankees and carries a special “HS” decal in two locations.

“Obviously it’s been a tough week for the whole Andretti Harding Steinbrenner team with the passing of Hank Steinbrenner,” said Herta. “Hank wanted to carry the Yankee tradition of winning into racing. I’m really proud to be able to help honor him this weekend with our pin-striped Capstone livery as a tribute. We’ll be racing with heavy hearts and hoping for a great result to honor his name.”

In addition to Herta’s tribute livery, all six Andretti Autosport entries will carry a decal in honor of Hank for this weekend’s INDYCAR iRacing Challenge.

“Capstone is honored for the opportunity to pay tribute to Hank Steinbrenner’s legacy in the Firestone 175 INDYCAR iRacing Challenge by collaborating with Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport on the No. 88 Tribute Livery,” said Darren Jamison, President and CEO of Capstone Turbine. “Hank’s passing is a tremendous loss to the sports community. On behalf of the entire Capstone organization, we extend our deepest condolences to George and the entire Steinbrenner family.”

Hank (left), George (right) — Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Steinbrenner’s father was the legendary owner of the team from 1973 until his death in 2010.

Steinbrenner and his younger brother, Hal, co-owned the Yankees until his death.

Hank Steinbrenner was an avid race fan and once co-owned Darrell Gwynn’s NHRA Drag Racing Team.

 

Famed New York Yankees star and Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson told the New York Post that he enjoyed his time with the colorful Hank Steinbrenner.

“Very generous, thoughtful and respectful. He was a helluva guy, a lot of personality. He would tell you jokes. Loved to talk about the game. Loved the job that Hal [Steinbrenner] was doing and the organization, what they were doing, the steps they were doing,” Jackson told The Post on Wednesday. “He was gracious and kind and a big tipper. Thoughtful of people. He was a helluva guy to be around. A good guy to be around.

“Hank will be missed. The shame of it all is that his brother [Hal] really worked at trying to get [Hank] involved. Nothing would have made Hal happier than to have his brother involved. [Hal] would always say to me, ‘Reggie, I have to call my brother on these decisions, help me get him up here.’”

Hank Steinbrenner often attended NTT IndyCar Series races to watch his son’s effort with Herta. Steinbrenner, however,  parked his motorhome in very inconspicuous locations. Those included outside of Turn 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Turn 12 at Road America.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500 

 

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.