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Jul 07, 2013 - 06:52 AM
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2013 Pocono: Veach Indy Lights Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Jul 07, 2013 - 06:49 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Pocono: Veach Indy Lights Race Recap


When the green flag flew for the Pocono 100 Veach finally had the best car he had driven all weekend. After struggling during the practice sessions, the 18-year-old brought his K12 Firestone Indy Lights machine home in the fourth position after starting sixth at the 'Tricky Triangle' during his inaugural visit to the tri-oval.

 

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"Up until the race it'd been a really tough weekend for all of us on the K12 car," said Veach. "We really struggled with the balance of it and just couldn't find the right groove. Then, finally in the race starting sixth I think we made some right decisions on the car - that was the best car I've had all weekend. We got a solid fourth (place finish); I think we could have contended for the top three. Once you lose that top pack in the draft at a place like this you can't really get them until a yellow (flag) comes out. I want to thank everyone at K12 and Andretti Autosport for working so hard. It's a good finish for us - a top five is always nice and we'll carry this momentum into Toronto."

Veach, of Stockdale, Oh., headed to Pocono Raceway for this fourth straight oval race of the 2013 Indy Lights season. As the K12 pilot turned his first laps around the 2.5-mile tri-oval of Pocono, he was looking to put behind him a mechanical issue that had plagued the team for the last three races. Opening practice was in the form of a promoter test day on Fri., July 5 where Veach was eighth in the opening session and fourth to close out the day. Although the driver was struggling with his car for much of the day, he recorded a field-high 140 laps turned, with a quick time of 186.150 mph.

When the sun came out on Sat., July 6 for official practice, the drivers had just 45 minutes to prepare for afternoon qualifications, which saw Veach put in a two-lap average of 185.829 mph good enough for a sixth-place starting spot for the 40-lap race.

The Pocono 100 followed, completing a compacted schedule which mirrored that of Iowa Speedway just two weeks prior. The race was the first time open-wheel racecars had raced at Pocono Raceway since 1989. The unique course is modeled after other tracks including the now defunct Trenton Speedway, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and The Milwaukee Mile.

While Veach rolled from the sixth spot on the grid, as soon as the race went green, Veach got a jump and moved up to fifth ahead of Jorge Goncalvez. By Lap 9, Veach had moved into fourth where he would stay until the checkered flag flew. His result gave the fourth-year Andretti Autosport veteran his third top-five finish of the 2013 season. The broadcast of the race will be aired nationally on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. (ET) on July 12.

Veach will be back on track next weekend on the Streets of Toronto, an 11-turn 1.75-mile street course race and his first road course race since Long Beach, where he started third. In 2012 during his time in the Star Mazda Championship, Veach started second and third with a best finish of second on the Streets of Toronto. Practice is set to begin on Fri., July 12 at 9:35 a.m. (ET) followed by one additional practice session at 2:15 p.m. (ET). Qualifications will follow on Sat., July 13 at 8:00 a.m. (ET) as well as the 50-lap race at 11:30 a.m. (ET). The race will be tape-delayed and shown nationally on NBC Sports Network. For exact times, please check local listings.

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In addition to K12, Veach's Firestone Indy Lights effort is also supported by: The Young Marines, ADS IT Solutions, Zakosi Data Backup, Replay XD, OMP, Bell Helmets, Got Chocolate Milk?, and Art Rotondo.

Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the Firestone Indy Lights is one of three series part of the Mazda Road to Indy developmental ladder system, designed to prepare drivers for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport is currently the only INDYCAR team to compete in each level of the Mazda Road to Indy as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series.


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