Indy 500 Rick Ware Racing James Davison
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Rick Ware Racing will partner on an Indy 500 entry with James Davison

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Rick Ware Racing and driver James Davison are teaming up for a motorsports tripleheader this month that will include the Indy 500.

With sponsorship from Jacob Construction/Byrd, Davison will drive the No. 51 Dallara-Honda as a Dale Coyne Racing entry with Rick Ware Racing in the Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 (1 p.m. ET, NBC), team owner Rick Ware told NBC Sports in an interview Thursday morning.

Jacob Construction also will be sponsoring Davison with RWR in the NASCAR Cup races at the Daytona International Speedway road course Aug. 16 and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona on Aug. 29. Ware said Davison has been approved by NASCAR to run the road course and 2.5-mile oval.

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Davison will be qualifying for the Indy 500 on Aug. 15, the day before racing Cup at Daytona. Ware said he plans to attend some practices and qualifying, but the team owner will be attending NASCAR’s race weekend doubleheader at Dover International Speedway during the Indy 500 weekend.

“This is a bucket list item that is huge for me personally,” Ware said. “I’ve actually never even been to the Indianapolis 500. Throughout my whole career, I’ve always been somewhere racing on Memorial Day (weekend). I’m ecstatic about even being able to be there and be able to participate has been a huge dream of mine.”

It’ll be a busy two weeks as well for Davison, who will be running both Cup races at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. He will drive from Michigan to Indianapolis for three days of practice starting Aug. 12. After qualifying on Saturday, Aug. 15, he’ll fly to Daytona for the Cup race and then return Friday to Indy for Carb Day practice. After running the Indy 500 on Aug. 23, he’ll return to Daytona to race the Coke Zero 400.

Rick Ware Racing also raced the Asian Le Mans Series with an entry sponsored by Jacob Construction (RWR).

Jacob Construction also sponsors Rick Ware in the Asian Le Mans Series. Jacobs/Byrd had sponsored a planned Rolex 24 at Daytona entry for Ware, who said he has been trying to put together an Indy 500 deal since last November when his team raced with Jacob in the Asian Le Mans Series.

“Being a smaller team, we’ve had just a lot of interest and a lot of excitement about doing something so unique,” said Ware, who celebrated his 57th birthday along with Thursday’s news. “It’s just a really cool deal. People just got excited about the value add as a race team. I’ll be doing a lot of traveling back and forth, but we’re still focusing on (NASCAR). We’ve had multiple top 30s with several of our cars the last several races in Cup.

“We’re making baby steps. So we’re improving, and our sponsors there are really happy. (The Indy 500) is not a diversion. It’s really a value add. So we’ll do whatever we can to make this happen. It’s going to be a lot of miles driven.”

Davison has seven starts in the NTT IndyCar series and will be attempting his sixth Indy 500. He finished a career-best 12th in last year’s race. He made his Cup debut at the Pocono Raceway doubleheader weekend in June, finishing 34th and 30th with Spire Motorsports.

Davison finished 30th Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in his first Cup start with Ware.

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.