VEACH RECORDS PAIR OF TOP-15 FINISHES DURING FIRST CAREER STARTS AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK

By on April 3, 2012

Rick Sassone interviews Zach Veach in March 2011 at Anderson Race Park in Palmetto. (Rocket Sports & Entertainment Nework file photo/Rodney Meyering)

LEEDS, AL (April 1, 2012) – Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach continued on his double-header back-to-back season opening weekends with two races at Barber Motorsports Park today, following his two race events on the Streets of St. Petersburg just last weekend. Due to inclement weather, both races were contested today with Veach finishing 15th in the first race and 11th in the second race of the weekend.

“This weekend at Barber wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for,” said Veach. “I started seventh in the first race but made a couple of mistakes, which meant we started 13th in the second race. In race two, I managed to make it up to ninth and then another car made contact with me, and I fell back to 11th. It isn’t the start to the season we wanted, but the guys did a great job and I’m really excited for the ovals. Thank you to Zakosi Data Backup, Replay XD, Young Marines, Arai, and OMP for making all of this possible for me.”

Veach opened his weekend on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course on Thurs., Mar. 29 with two practice sessions where he sat 12th and 15th, respectively, with a best time of 1:22.553. The following day, he put down a seventh quick qualifying lap in the wet as storms moved into the area.

“After a really wet qualifying effort, we ended up seventh, said Veach. “I learned a lot while being out there and that it is important to get your best qualifying time within the first couple laps.”

Due to ongoing rain showers and lightning in the Leeds/Birmingham, Alabama area, all activities at the track were then canceled for the balance of the day, leaving the Star Mazda drivers to contest two race events on Sun., April 1, splitting the IZOD IndyCar Series headlining event.

During the first race of the weekend and round three on the 2012 Star Mazda calendar, Veach rolled from Row 4 and experienced an early push in the car right off the bat. He quickly dropped two spots to ninth and on Lap 6 spun in Turn 3 with no contact, sending him back to 15th, which he would settle in at until the checkered flag flew.

As the second race started, Veach began the race from the 13th position, which was determined from lap times from Race #1. During the race, he advanced two spots to 11th and then to ninth before another driver made contact with Veach, returning him to the 11th position and matching his finish on the Streets of St. Petersburg the weekend before.

Both the Barber Star Mazda races will be packaged together as part of the “Mazda Motorsports Hour” to be televised on the Velocity Network on Sun., May 20 at 12 p.m. EDT. Star Mazda races are also broadcast on ESPN International. For air dates and times, visit www.StarMazda.com for more information.

The Stockdale, Ohio native, Veach, continues on with his 2012 Star Mazda Championship schedule with his next scheduled race to be contested at Lucas Oil Raceway for the first oval race of the 2012 season as part of the traditional “Night Before the 500” on May 26.

Veach’s 2012 effort in the Star Mazda Championship is primarily supported by Zakosi Data Backup with additional support from: The Young Marines, ADS IT Solutions, Replay XD, OMP, and Arai Helmets.

Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the Star Mazda Championship is one of two series part of both the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver program. Andretti Autosport is currently the only INDYCAR team to compete in each level of the Mazda Road to Indy.

For more information, please visit www.ZachVeach.com or www.AndrettiAutosport.com.

About Zach Veach:
Zach “Ziggy” Veach is a 17-year-old autoracing driver who competes in INDYCAR’s ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ Star Mazda Championship Series, an important open-wheel stepping-stone to a career in the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. In 2012, Veach captured the Formula Car Challenge Winter Series Championship and in 2011, he secured the USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship and was voted the “Most Popular Driver in USF2000”. Named by ESPN The Magazine as a NEXT athlete in motorsports, Veach keeps an active pace both on and off the race track. In 2010, Michael Andretti signed Veach to his team, Andretti Autosport, while also being named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People” and being nominated for the Sports Illustrated “Sports Kid of the Year” award. In addition to his racing, Veach is an advocate for safer driving as the national spokesperson for FocusDriven, an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using their cell phones and has campaigned for Oprah Winfrey’s “No Phone Zone.” Veach designed a phone application through his phone-app building company, ZaAPP, releasing urTXT, in the Marketplace for Android to help consumers avoid dangerous text messaging while driving. Like most of his peers, Veach was bullied as a kid and works to combat the growing epidemic as part of the Cyber Safety Academy’s “No BULL Challenge” as a key ambassador. 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 and The Huffington Post. The son of a national truck and tractor-pulling champion, Veach is sponsored by Zakosi Data Backup, The Young Marines, Replay XD, Arai Helmets, OMP, ADS IT Solutions, and artrotondo.com. He entered his sophomore year of high school this past fall and released his first book, 99 THINGS TEENS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE TURNING 16, in 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 competes 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.

About The Star Mazda Championship Series:
For 2012, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will again be a major part of the “Mazda Road to Indy”. The 2012 schedule consists of 17 races on 10 weekends, most with IndyCar. Rising stars from around the world will compete on road courses, street circuits and ovals in front of more than a million fans as they battle for prizes valued at $1.5 million, including a scholarship to move up and race in the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights series. Drivers 16 and older are welcome to compete and the Star Mazda Championship also features the Expert Series for drivers 30 and older. The Star Mazda Championship features standing starts, wheel-to-wheel racing at 160 mph and budgets a fraction of other top open-wheel ladder series. For more information on the Star Mazda Championship and its drivers, as well as the Mazda Motorsports ladder system, please visit www.StarMazda.com.

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