By Del Duduit | Local Happenings
Former Minford Elementary student Zach Veach made a strong showing at the Texas Motor
Speedway earlier this month.
The Pike County native finished 4th at the Genssys 300 in Fort Worth Texas on June 6.
Veach, who now lives in Indianapolis, was thrilled with his finish, and even led two laps in his
No. 26 race car.
“Really, really good night here in the Gainbridge Honda,” Veach said after the race. “I wanted
to start 2020 off good because 2019 was so rough, and we came out here to Texas and got a top-
four and started fifth. I’m just very happy.”
He drives for Andretti Autosport and this was his first top-five finish in the season’s first
IndyCar series race since the COVID-19 pandemic and it matched his best career finish.
This is his third year as a full-time driver in the IndyCar series for Veach, and he has high
expectations following last year’s disappointing season.
In 2019, he made 17 starts behind the wheel and had only three top-10 finishes.
Two years ago, he had two top-five showings and was in the hunt at the Indianapolis 500 until a
five-car crash took him out of the race in 12th position with 25 laps to go.
In Texas, he started the race, which was run without fans, in fifth position. He believes the fourth-place finish gives him confidence going into the next outing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 4.
“This kind of momentum will be great to go into the Indy GP (Grand Prix) and hopefully have
the season we’ve been needing to have,” he said. “The guys did an awesome job. My engineer,
Mark Bryant, the car was amazing and all my pit crew, they were awesome for everything, and
that played a big part in a race with not many passes.”
His primary goal is to win a checkered flag, get back to the racing form he showed in 2018,
impress his sponsor, Gainbridge, and earn a new contract with Andretti Autosport for 2021 and
maybe longer. This is the final year of his obligation with the racing legend team, and he wants
to continue this relationship.
“It’s hopefully a new start in a much more fun year,” he said. “That’s the big thing, just enjoying
it, having fun, because the first year was a lot like that.”
Veach said he grew up admiring Michael Andretti and is thrilled to have him as boss now. He
added while he is living out his dream, he must prove himself on the track.
“You put so much pressure on yourself in the second year that, it sounds dumb to say, but you stop enjoying what you’re doing in a way because you’re thinking about all the negative sides of it instead of enjoying what you’re doing,” he said. So, I think this year, it’s just have fun with it because we were doing well when we had fun.”
His ultimate goal is to win the Indianapolis 500, which is now scheduled for August, 23, 2020.
He has participated in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing the past three years and finished in 2018 toward the back of the pack. In 2017 and 2019, he crashed on both outings.
“That’s why we come here,” he said. “There is nothing quite like Indy.”
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife,
Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his
Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.