VEACH CLOSES USF2000 SEASON FOURTH IN SERIES POINTS

By on September 6, 2011

Zach Veach Records Two Top-10 Finishes In Inaugural Visit to Baltimore    courtesy of Zach Veach PR

BALTIMORE, MD (Sept. 4, 2011) – The duel rounds on the Streets of Baltimore didn’t go exactly how Zach Veach had planned to end his 2011 hunt for the USF2000 National Championship. Veach was collected in a Lap 1 incident in Race No. 1, putting him several laps down and resulting in an eighth-place finish. Race No. 2 wasn’t much better, retiring from the race on Lap 9 with a broken toe-link and placing Veach 10th to end his 2011 season fourth in series points.

“This is not the season-end race we had hoped for,” said Veach. “In the second race, we had a good run in fifth and were working on catching fourth-place strong. I made a mistake and hit the curb in the chicane, which ultimately damaged the left side of the car. From there, we just limped around the track until a bit after the halfway point when we had to come in to the pits. It’s not what we were hoping for, but we have the Star Mazda race at Laguna in a few weeks to look forward to. From here, we can start working on plans for next year. Thanks to my team for all of their hard work this year and Zakosi Data Backup for their support.”

Opening the weekend with a visit to the Johns Jopkins Children’s Center of Baltimore for a special visit with Racing for Kids, Veach spent the better part of the two-hour appearance visiting the hospital beds of kids his own age fighting for their lives.

Following the appearance, Veach opened the inaugural Baltimore race weekend with a shortened practice session that gave the driver just four laps on the demanding new circuit. The driver of the No. 7 Zakosi Data Backup Mazda started Race No. 1 in the third position after qualifications were cancelled due to a shortened schedule. Veach began the weekend third in series points, which was how the qualifying order was determined for the first race where he finished 12th, two laps down after a Lap 1 incident, which collected several cars including fellow Andretti Autosport teammate Spencer Pigot.

In Race No. 2, Veach started fifth after posting the fifth-fastest time during the first-round race on the 2.4-mile 12-turn Baltimore Grand Prix circuit. His luck on the weekend wasn’t about to get any better. Going into the final race, Veach had fallen from contention to take the series’ points championship and instead was fighting to keep hold of his third place spot in the standings. Rolling at the green flag from the fifth position, Veach battled up front for the first part of the race before a mechanical failure began to force Veach to the back of the field. He eventually retired from the race on Lap 9, hampering his final finish of the 2011 USF2000 season with a 10th place result and a fourth-place finish in the final 2011 USF2000 points’ standings.

Along with fellow teammate Pigot, Veach contributed to Andretti Autosport securing the team championship for the second season in a row in the USF2000 National Championship series.

While Veach’s USF2000 National Championship season is over, his racing schedule for 2011 includes one final race. Veach’s Andretti Autosport team announced in mid-August that they had rewarded Veach with a two-race opportunity to compete alongside fellow teammate and close friend Sage Karam in the Star Mazda Championship series, the next step in the Mazda Road to Indy developmental ladder system.

The 16-year-old driver, Veach finished seventh after qualifying eight in his Star Mazda debut at Infineon Raceway. Veach will make his final start of 2011 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to close out his two-race program in the Star Mazda Championship series.

Practice for the Monterey, California Star Mazda race begins at 8:00 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, September 16 in support of the American Le Mans feature race. Qualifications and the Star Mazda race will be held on Sunday, September 18 at 8:00 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. Pacific time, respectively.

Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the USF2000 National Championship, presented by Cooper Racing Tires and powered by Mazda, is one of three series part of both INDYCAR’s “Mazda Road to Indy” ladder system and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver program.

About Zach Veach:
Zach “Ziggy” Veach is a 16-year-old autoracing driver who competes in INDYCAR’s ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ USF2000 National Championship Series and Star Mazda Championship Series, important open-wheel stepping-stones to a career in the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. In 2011, Veach captured the USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship, on the heels of placing fifth in the 2010 season, despite missing two race events. In 2010, Michael Andretti signed Veach to his team, Andretti Autosport, while Veach was also being named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People” and was also nominated for Sports Illustrated “Sports Kid of the Year” award. In addition to his racing, Veach is an advocate for safer driving in conjunction with Oprah Winfrey’s “No Phone Zone,” and is the national spokesperson for FocusDriven, an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using their cell phones. In 2010, Veach released his first published Android application through his phone-app building company, ZaAPP, releasing urTXT, in the Marketplace for Android to help consumers avoid dangerous text messaging while driving and helms his own safe driving program, Ziggy’s Safe Driving, which hits 25 markets across the country each year. Veach has been a guest or profiled on a variety of national platforms including NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s Headline News, ABCNews.com, Oprah Radio’s The Gayle King Show, The Los Angeles Times, AOL.com and is a blogger for RACER magazine. The son of a national truck and tractor-pulling champion, Veach entered his sophomore year of high school this past fall and released his first book, 99 THINGS TEENS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE TURNING 16, on March 2, 2011. For more information, please visit www.ZachVeach.com.

About Andretti Autosport:
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Andretti Autosport also campaigns multiple cars in Firestone Indy Lights, the Star Mazda Championship and in the USF2000 National Championship. The company boasts three IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005 and 2007), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). For more information, please visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com.

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