Zach Veach to Compete for 2012 Star Mazda Championship with Andretti Autosport
 January 13, 2012| 
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Mazda Road to Indy Star Continues His Climb Up the INDYCAR Ladder

 

INDIANAPOLIS – Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed Zach Veach to compete in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Veach will drive the #77 Team Zakosi Data Backup car. 

 

“We’re always impressed with Zach and how he handles himself both on and off the track,” said Michael Andretti, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Autosport. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be successful again this year as he steps up to Star Mazda full-time. I look forward to watching him move up the field this season.”

 

Though this will be his first full season in the series, Veach is no stranger to the Star Mazda Championship car. Veach recently drove to victory in the first two rounds of the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear Winter Series, held at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. in November. He earned two pole positions and led every lap during the race weekend in the No. 77 Team Zakosi Data Backup Star Mazda car. During the 2011 season, Veach also competed during the final two rounds of the Star Mazda Championship. He secured a third place podium finish at the final race of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

“I’m really excited to be racing in the Zakosi Data Backup Star Mazda car this season, especially with Sage [Karam] as my teammate again,” said Veach. “The time I was able to spend in the car earlier this winter gave me a chance to change my driving style to better suit the Star Mazda car, and I think with a bit more testing I’ll be ready to compete for the championship. I would like to thank Michael Andretti, Zakosi Data Backup, my family and the whole team that continues to support me. I can’t wait to get on track!”

 

Veach, a 17-year-old from Stockdale, Ohio, finished fourth in the 2011 Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda. He helped Andretti Autosport secure the team championship title for the second consecutive year with one win, five podiums and three pole positions. He also captured the inaugural Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 Winterfest Championship title earlier this year with two race wins. In 2010, Veach finished fifth in the overall USF2000 driver championship points, despite starting the season two races behind the rest of the field.

 

Away from the track, Veach stays active as a spokesperson for FocusDriven, an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using their cell phones, has campaigned for Oprah Winfrey's "No Phone Zone," and even created a phone app to fight texting behind the wheel. He also released a book titled 99 THINGS TEENS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE TURNING 16, where he shared his battle with bullying, which later led to his campaign work for the Cyber Safety Academy’s No BULL Challenge.

 

ESPN The Magazine recently named Veach a “NEXT” athlete in motorsports and is one of CNN’s “Intriguing People,” as well as being nominated for the Sports Illustrated “Sports Kid of the Year” award.

 

In addition to Zakosi Data Backup, The Young Marines, ADS IT Solutions, Replay XD, and Arai Helmets are providing additional support on the #77 effort.

 

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.

 

Prior to the start of the 2012 season, Veach will wrap up his campaign for the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear Winter Series title heading into the final three events with the points lead at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. January 20-22.

 

The 2012 Star Mazda season will begin March 24 in St. Petersburg, Fla. For more information and a full season schedule, visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com and www.StarMazda.com.

 

- END -

 

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.

 

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 2011, Veach captured the USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship, while also being named by ESPN The Magazine as a NEXT athlete in motorsports. 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 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. 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, ESPN.com, FOXsports.com, ABCNews.com, Oprah Radio’s The Gayle King Show, The Los Angeles Times, AOL.com Fast Company magazine, Mashable.com and is a blogger for RACER and iPhone iLife magazines. 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.







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