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May 02, 2013
Thursday
Veach Leads Opening Day Of Practice At Indianapolis
Press Release

Zach Veach - Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IMS
Zach Veach - Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IMS
18-Year-Old Zach Veach Backs Up Quick Time At IMS; Only Driver over 190MPH

INDIANAPOLIS (MAY 2, 2013) - Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach put his K12.com machine back at the top of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway time charts with the quickest trip around the world’s most famous oval Thursday during the first test in preparation for the Firestone Freedom 100 race to be contested later this month on Coors Light Carb Day. His blistering speeds trumped all other drivers leaving the 18-year-old as the only driver to hit a top speed of 190 mph. The teen even mirrored his topping of the IMS speed charts in late 2012 when he set an unofficial new track record while testing a Firestone Indy Lights car on the IMS road course.

“I guess for some reason we have some really good luck here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Veach. “Back in October we were P1 in the road course test while setting the track record. To come back here today and be P1 again in the K12 car is just incredible. So far Indy has been really good to us. Coming here has always been a dream of mine but we have to keep working hard. Also, I have to say I think I sounded like a little boy on the radio after my first lap because I was so excited to be here. This place has so much history and it’s the one track you see growing up and where you dream of being as a professional race car driver one day. To be able to drive around this place at over 190 as an 18-year-old is something that’s really special to me and I don’t take that for granted. I want to especially thank my Andretti Autosport team for working so hard during this test and to K12 for making this all possible. I’m really looking forward to coming back here at the end of May, right after I finish up my Senior year of High School.”

Veach, of Stockdale, Ohio, was grinning ear-to-ear after he took his first lap around the 2.5-mile legendary racecourse. While on a break between sessions, he told the media he was at a loss for words, reminiscing his dream to run at the famous course and comparing it to the day he got his first go-kart.

The open test at IMS was Veach’s first outing on the oval despite a two-day test in October of 2012 where Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti evaluated Veach, weighing the option to move the-then 17-year-old up to the Firestone Indy Lights for 2013.

The team announced they would indeed move Veach up to the final step of the “Mazda Road to Indy” developmental ladder system, becoming the first driver to advance through the entire system alongside former teammate Sage Karam. When Veach was a mere 15 years of age, Andretti signed him, mentored him through two seasons in USF2000, one season in Star Mazda and now Veach looks onto his fourth season with the legendary team.

On the 2013 Indy Lights season, rookie driver Veach’s best start is third on the Streets of Long Beach and his best finish is fifth and came on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Before stepping foot at IMS Thursday, Veach learned Wednesday, May 1, that legendary television and radio host Larry King had come calling for an exclusive interview. King joins a long list as Veach’s popularity has soared since assisting Oprah Winfrey with her “No Phone Zone” campaign in 2010.

K12.com, the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education, backs the 18-year-old who plans to graduate this May 2013. While competing full time in the Firestone Indy Lights Series and finishing up his senior year of high school, Veach also makes time for his passion to help others through his national distracted driving and bullying campaigns.

CNN listed Veach as one of their most “Intriguing People” in 2010 while ESPN The Magazine named him NEXT in motorsports in 2011. Sports Illustrated followed in agreement in 2012, naming him a “Face in the Crowd.” He released his first book on NBC’s TODAY Show and is the youngest spokesperson for Got Chocolate Milk’s? Team REFUEL nutritional health campaign.

If Thursday’s open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is any indication of Veach’s potential success later this month, we’ll just have to wait and see. Practice for the Firestone Freedom 100 begins Thurs., May 23 at 9:00 a.m. EDT with qualifications set for 1:15 p.m. EDT later that day. The race will then be contested on Fri., May 24 at 12:30 p.m. EDT in advance of the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.

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In addition to K12, Veach’s Firestone Indy Lights effort is also supported by: The Young Marines, ADS IT Solutions, Zakosi Data Backup, Replay XD, OMP, Bell Helmets, and Art Rotondo.

Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the Firestone Indy Lights is one of three series part of the Mazda Road to Indy developmental ladder system, designed to prepare drivers for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport is currently the only INDYCAR team to compete in each level of the Mazda Road to Indy as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series.

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

NEXT RACE
Firestone Freedom 100
May 24, 2013; 11am ET

READ MORE

About Zach Veach:
Zach Veach is a 18-year-old autoracing driver who competes in INDYCAR’s ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ Firestone Indy Lights 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. In 2010, Michael Andretti signed Veach to his team, Andretti Autosport, while also being named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People,” being named by ESPN the Magazine as a NEXT athlete in motorsports and was voted the “Most Popular Driver” in both 2011 and 2012 in USF2000 and Star Mazda. In addition to his racing, Veach is an advocate for safer driving as the national spokesperson for FocusDriven and for bullying prevention, headlining a national anti-bullying campaign through the Cyber Safety Academy’s “No BULL Challenge.” Veach has been a guest or profiled on a variety of national platforms including NBC’s The Today Show, among many others, and is sponsored by K12, Got Chocolate Milk?, Zakosi Data Backup, The Young Marines, Replay XD, Arai Helmets, OMP, ADS IT Solutions, and Oakley. He has also authored a book, 99 Things Teens Wish They Knew Before Turning 16, and released a phone app, urTXT, and entered his senior year of high school at K12 this past fall. For more information, please visit www.ZachVeach.com.

About K12 Inc.:
K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), a technology-based education company, is the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school. Using 21st century tools to prepare 21st century students, K12 provides a new choice for children to learn in a flexible and innovative way, at an individualized pace. K12 provides curriculums and academic services to public and private online schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. K12 is accredited through AdvancED, the world’s largest education community. Additional information on K12 for schools and districts can be found at www.K12.com/educators.

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 four IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012), 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 Firestone Indy Lights:
Firestone Indy Lights is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. The top series in the Mazda Road to Indy development system, teams compete in cars that are second in speed only to the IZOD IndyCar Series at most tracks they visit. Graduates of this fast and cost-effective series include 2011 champion Josef Newgarden, 2009 champion JR Hildebrand, Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, James Hinchcliffe and Charlie Kimball.

Source: Zach Veach Racing




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