FORT WORTH, TX – Zach Veach had higher hopes for his sophomore campaign in the NTT IndyCar Series. See, to close out his rookie year in the series in 2018, the Ohio native had four top 10 finishes over the final six races. That gave him a boatload of confidence heading into the 2019 season.
Unfortunately, the start of 2019 has been anything but. Leaving the Indianapolis 500 with a minor injury following a late race crash, Veach’s best finish to date was 12th. That came at both the Barber Motorsports Park as well as the INDYCAR Grand Prix. But, it’s amazing what one solid weekend can do for a race car drivers’ psyche.
Zach Veach getting ready to get into his No. 26 Honda for Andretti Autosport on Thursday night at the Texas Motor Speedway – INDYCAR Media Site
Last weekend in Belle Isle, Veach qualified up front in both races and came home eighth in both as well. It shows a lot about his poise because both races could have ended in disaster.
After qualifying a seasons best eighth in the first race of the doubleheader weekend on the Detroit area street circuit, Veach spun on the pace lap coming to green. Instead of starting eighth, he had to go to the back of the field. To make matters worse, it was a wet race and the start was single file. Despite all of what was against him, in a timed 75 minute race, he improved 14 positions back up to where he started in eighth.
On Sunday, he qualified third and finished eighth again. That and how good of a car he had in his No. 26 Honda last year at Texas is why he’s overly confident heading into Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600 (8 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network).
“I was really happy with today, actually,” said Veach after posting the eighth fastest lap in the abbreviated practice session on Thursday. “I feel like we’ve taken momentum from Detroit. Texas has always been a track that I love and I think we are in the top three as far as no-tows (speeds without a draft) and P8 overall. I think we really have a shot to redeem ourselves. Last year, we went from 16th to third in a single stint, then I made a small mistake. I’d love to be able to say Texas is the place where I got my first NTT IndyCar Series win – but a lot has to happen between now and Saturday night.”