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Nov 27, 2012 - 06:40 PM
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Veach Named Most Popular Driver For Second Consecutive Year
Posted by: newsla on Nov 27, 2012 - 06:37 PM
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Veach Named Most Popular Driver For Second Consecutive Year


INDYCAR Nation, INDYCAR’s official fan club, announced today the winning drivers in the annual “Most Popular Driver” award category with Andretti Autosport “Mazda Road to Indy” regular Zach Veach being named as the “Most Popular Driver” in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear series for 2012. Veach earns the honor for the second year in a row following his win in the category in the USF2000 National Championship series in 2011.

 

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“Being named most popular driver for a second year in a row is just incredible,” said Veach. “I turn 18 pretty soon and I feel as though this is just the best birthday present. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive fan base and I’m so thankful for all of the votes. It’s also really cool to share this honor with two of my Andretti Autosport teammates, Hinch [James Hinchcliffe] and Sebastian [Saavedra] who also won in their series. I’m sure Hinch will come up with something for us to do together to celebrate—maybe even a Godaddy.com commercial.”

Fans voted for their favorite INDYCAR drivers on IndyCar.com for the opportunity to win racing memorabilia, which from Veach will include a signed copy of his book, an autographed hero card, a K12/Zach Veach branded bookmark, and a Young Marines commemorative Zach Veach, limited-edition coin.

In 2012, Veach competed in Star Mazda and prior to the season, used four race wins and four pole positions to capture the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear Winter Series championship, his second straight career winter series championship. Following the 2012 season, Veach topped the speed charts and set an unofficial new track record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway while testing a Firestone Indy Lights machine on the Brickyard’s historic grounds.

The 17-year-old athlete has also turned heads off the racetrack. In May 2010, Veach joined Oprah Winfrey’s “No Phone Zone” initiative, adding 33 Indy 500 drivers to her campaign to help put an end to distracted driving. Veach joined nearly 100 taste-making public figures that included Ryan Seacrest, Jerry Seinfeld, and Kim Kardashian, with Veach assembling some of his famous friends to also join the campaign including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, TLC’s Paige Davis and fellow racers NASCAR’s Danica Patrick and IndyCar’s Helio Castroneves.

Following his visit to The Oprah Winfrey Show, Veach was named as the national spokesperson for FocusDriven, Advocates for Cell-Free Driving, working closely with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Veach later appeared at the 2010 Distracted Driving Conference in Washington, D.C. and was honored alongside musicians Jordan Sparks and The Jonas Brothers for their collective efforts to curb distracted driving. He is also set to appear in Dec. at the 2012 Teen Distracted Driving Summit in Washington DC, working with nearly 20 other youth leaders from across the country as assembled by the National Organization of Youth Safety (NOYS) and AT&T.

In addition to his work against distracted driving, he also has been an active voice on the subject of bullying, following an extensive battle with the growing epidemic. He headlines a national anti-bullying campaign for the Cyber Safety Academy’s Great American No BULL Challenge, a national anti-bullying movement contest for youth across America. He has continually taken a stand by speaking out about his battle with bullying including serving as a speaker on Capital Hill during American Public Health Association's annual celebration of the National Public Health Week, helping to raise additional funding for schools to fight the issue.

ESPN The Magazine named Veach a NEXT athlete in motorsports and he was a nominee for the Sports Illustrated “Sports Kid of the Year” award, the CNN Hero award and the Gatorade “Athlete of the Year” award. CNN also named him to their list of “Intriguing People” and The Century Council, an arm within the government, likewise named Veach a “Superstar” alongside the NBA’s Shaquille O’Neil and Olympic Speed Skater Apolo Ohno.

Veach is also an author, releasing 99 Things Teens Wish They knew Before Turning 16 in 2011 with a special appearance on NBC’s The Today Show, while also developing a phone app, urTXT, through his phone-app building company, ZaAPP.

Veach’s popularity within INDYCAR is no surprise given his commitments to not only his performance on the racetrack but also in the classroom as a senior at K12 Online Public School and his devotion to giving back through his many charity affiliations.

Veach is joined in the popular driver award winning category by fellow Andretti Autosport drivers James Hinchcliffe, who won in the IZOD IndyCar Series category, Sebastian Saavedra in the Firestone Indy Lights and Shannon McIntosh in the USF2000 National Championship series.

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