Zach Veach will not complete the remaining races on his three-year contract with Andretti Autosport. The team will announce a replacement for the Ohioan in the No. 26 Honda ahead of the October 2-3 Harvest Indy Grand Prix.
“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,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “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.”
Veach stepped up to IndyCar with Andretti in 2018 and showed immediate promise with a number of solid runs that left him 15th in the championship. A rough sophomore season where he placed 18th, and ongoing struggles in 2020 where Veach currently holds 20th in the standings, has left the 25-year-old in an unenviable position while needing to sign a new contract and retain Gainbridge, the sponsor he introduced to the team and series.
“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said. “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 immeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be among the racing world and fans in 2021.”