Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach has relinquished his seat in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for the remainder of the 2020 NTT Data IndyCar Series season, and will not return to the team for 2021.
Veach made his IndyCar debut in 2017, signing full time with Andretti in 2018. In his career, the 25-year-old American has amassed nine top ten finishes, with a career best finish of fourth place (2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and 2020 Genesys 300).
Knowing that he wouldn’t be back next year, Veach decided now was the time to give up his seat to help the team prepare going forward.
“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 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,” Veach said in a statement.
“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.”
Veach also expressed gratitude to the Andretti family for the opportunity given to him.
“I will forever be grateful to Michael [Andretti] 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.”
Andretti expressed the same gratitude to Veach, and praised the character of the young driver.
“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,” Andretti said.
“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’s plans for 2021 and beyond remain unknown, and Andretti Autosport are expected to announce a new driver to fill the seat in the coming days.