18-Year-Old Zach Veach leads his first career Firestone Indy Lights laps and earns his first Podium in the series.
WEST ALLIS, WIS. - Recent high school graduate Zach Veach didn't even need one lap to take the lead from former teammate Sage Karam in the Milwaukee 100 at the historic Milwaukee Mile. Veach lead the most laps of the race before lapped traffic deteriorated all the way down to a half-second, giving Karam and Andretti Autosport teammate Carlos Munoz time to gain on Veach.
"I think it was a really good weekend for us," said Veach. "We qualified second, which was our best qualifying position, and we led a lot of laps today. I just made a rookie mistake by pushing too hard on the tires in the early laps. We learned a lot from this, and I'm just happy to come home third.
Those last 20 laps I was just hanging on hoping there was no one behind us. I am very thankful for the K12 Andretti Autosport guys for working so hard, and we'll hopefully get the win in Iowa. We'll keep digging."
After starting alongside Karam on the front row in the second position, Veach jumped out to an early lead. The Stockdale, Oh., native was simply cooking the field building up a nearly five-second lead.
His success at 'The Mile' for his team owner, Michael Andretti, was no surprise. The Andretti's have a long rich history at the century-old oval with Andretti earning five wins at the oldest racetrack in the world.
With history on his side, Veach opened the weekend with a promoter test day on Thurs., June 13, where he had two practice sessions, finishing third and first, respectively. He had two more sessions heading into afternoon qualifications on Fri., June 14.
During qualifications, Veach qualified with a two-lap average of 146.710 good enough for a second position starting spot. He would miss the pole by just .03.
Despite leading a total of 56 laps and making a bid for his first Indy Lights win, Veach earned his career best Indy Lights finish of third, besting his previous best finish of fifth on the Streets of St. Petersburg and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Prior to the race, Veach also earned his highest starting position of second, trumping his previous best of third on the Streets of Long Beach.
Returning to the racetrack next week at Iowa Speedway, Veach will have practice, qualifications and ultimately the race on Sat., June 22. Practice is set to begin at 9:30 a.m., with qualifications set for 4:00 p.m. and the 115-lap Sukup 100 race set for 7:50 p.m. central. The race will be shown nationally on NBC Sports Network. For exact times, please check local listings.