Zach Veach has relinquished his seat in the #26 Andretti Autosport-Honda with immediate effect, on learning he will not be returning to the team in 2021.
Andretti confirmed the news that Veach would miss the final three races of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, adding that “a replacement driver for the No. 26 will be named in the coming days.”
A statement from Veach read: “The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the #26 Gainbridge car. 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 [Andretti, team owner] 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.”
Veach raced for Andretti Autosport in USF2000, Indy Pro 2000 (then called Star Mazda) and Indy Lights, finishing third in the 2014 Lights championship.
Since joining the team’s IndyCar squad in 2018, his highlights have been fourth at Long Beach and fifth at Gateway in his rookie seasons, and a fourth place in the 2020 season-opener at Texas Motor Speedway.
Said 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.”
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