Veach: Fourth at Long Beach a “relief”, but improvement needed

Andretti Autosport’s rookie, Zach Veach, says his career best IndyCar result of fourth at Long Beach was a strong result but says he needs to give himself less work by qualifying better.

Veach: Fourth at Long Beach a “relief”, but improvement needed
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport Honda
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport Honda
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport Honda
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport Honda
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport Honda
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport Honda
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport Honda

Veach, who started only 16th, was on a two-stop strategy but 17 laps run under caution eased any worries over fuel saving, so he could not only hold off Graham Rahal but also challenge Ed Jones for a podium finish.

He told Motorsport.com: “The way we’re looking at the season is that it’s all about learning, so the two-stop strategy was always the plan. We’re trying to do something to save a little fuel so I can get that experience and things just lined up perfectly for us. Our race pace was decent – and it has been all year.

“The big problem is qualifying, when it comes to putting that complete lap together. I keep getting 80 percent of it right, but I miss advancing out of Q1 because of little things. I’ve gotta make my job easier at Barber by qualifying further up.

“But this result is a little bit of a relief. When we took the green with nine to go, I wanted to do my best to push Ed, and I think we had a stronger couple of laps while the tires weren’t up to temperature, and we kept the pressure on.

“But then he put me out in the marbles at Turn 9, which I kind of invited him to by putting myself on his outside, so the next two laps I was just trying to clean my tires up again, and that allowed Rahal to put some heat on me.

“So at that point I thought, ‘We can push Jones and possibly not finish, or we can just keep Rahal at bay and take home a good finish and move on.’ So that was the decision I took with about five laps to go.”

The once-petite Veach, who had to work hard to get his fitness and body strength to IndyCar standard, said he felt physically fine after the race.

“Yeah, that was surprisingly OK,” he said. “St. Pete felt hard, Phoenix was easy but it’s an oval. And Long Beach on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say was about a six. So I think it’s just a case of my body getting used to it.”

Veach made his IndyCar race debut as a last-minute sub at Ed Carpenter Racing at Barber Motorsports Park last year, and noted the different physical demands of the cars with the manufacturer aerokits and the 2018 spec Dallara kits.

“It’s something we talk about a lot – is the new car less physical than the old one?” he said. “And in a way, yes, because the sheer strength it takes to drive the new car is less, but with a lot of downforce now gone, you’re also catching it three or four times every corner, so you’re getting more pumped. At the end of the day, you feel you’ve done the same amount of work.”

 

shares
comments
Hunter-Reay admits his Long Beach race was “a complete nightmare”

Previous article

Hunter-Reay admits his Long Beach race was “a complete nightmare”

Next article

Video: How Rossi emerged as IndyCar's title favourite

Video: How Rossi emerged as IndyCar's title favourite
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Long Beach
Location Streets of Long Beach
Drivers Zach Veach
Teams Andretti Autosport
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020