Andretti Autosport: MRTI Grand Prix of St. Pete Sunday recap

Zach Veach captures his first win in 13 Indy Lights starts.

Zach Veach, No. 26 RePLAY XD

Started on the front row
Captured his first win in 13 Indy Lights starts

Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport

Photo by: Bret Kelley

"I'm so happy. Last year didn't go exactly how we wanted it to, but my engineer (Doug Zister), he never stopped helping me. This winter I spent a lot of time trying to get more physically strong because I felt that was my weakness, and spent a lot of time doing mentally things and came into the season with a whole new attitude, and I think it paid off for us.

My engineer definitely was on me a lot about saving tires. In my mind I was thinking, 'just don't mess up, just hit my marks, have clean laps' - and we were able to do that we took the lead early and were able to keep it from there. I want to thank everyone on the RePLAY XD team for all their hard work and support in getting me to victory lane. Big thanks to Cooper Tire, Mazda and the Mazda Road to Indy for this amazing start to 2014."

Matthew Brabham, No. 83 United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED

The rookie started his first Indy Lights event in P3
Made contact with the wall, pitted for new tires, seen as low as 12th and finished the race in ninth

"It was looking good there at the start... I just made a mistake and clipped the wall; my own fault. I'm disappointed in myself and disappointed for the team - I let the United Fiber & Data/Mazda guys down. Mistakes happen, so I'll forget about this one and start looking forward to Long Beach."

Shelby Blackstock, No. 28 Starstruck

Started fourth based off of fastest lap time from Race One
Was seen as high as third place and finished fourth

" Overall, today I was decently happy with the results. Unfortunately, we had some bad luck; from qualifying we had three punctured tires, so our tire choice wasn't what we were expecting. With the mismatched tires, some had a lot of miles on them and some had a little. In the end, we just dealt with what we had. It wasn't the greatest weekend or one that I wanted; but I'll take a fourth-place finish, take the points we gained and what we learned and hopefully go into Barber (Motorsports Park) with better results and get on the podium. I want to thank my Andretti Autosport Starstruck crew guys for all of their hard work."

Garett Grist, No. 27 DaVinci Foods/Lander Property Management

Took his first Pro Mazda standing start from the seventh grid position
Another incident took the rookie out of the fight for the win and finished in 17th

"Well, today was an even worse day for us. In Turn One, we got chopped going in and we ended up with front left damage; I had to come in for some front left suspension, so I was quite a few laps down. I went back out just to try to salvage some points, and I just drove around as fast as I could with the suspension still bent. I appreciate the DaVinci Foods/Lander Property Management crew for all of their hard work this weekend, and looking forward to giving it a shot at Barber (Motorsports Park) in a couple weeks."

Andretti Autosport

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About this article
Series INDYLIGHTS
Article type Race reports
Tags garett grist, indylights, matthew brabham, shelby blackstock, st. pete, zach veach