INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed 17-year-old Zach Veach to compete in INDYCAR's Firestone Indy Lights in 2013, which includes the Freedom 100 held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a support race for the Indianapolis 500.
"I'm glad to have Zach [Veach] back with us for 2013 and to see him step up to a [Firestone Indy] Lights car is great, it means the [Mazda Road to Indy] ladder is working," said Michael Andretti, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Autosport. "He's been with us for each step of the ladder so far and we've continued to be impressed by him. We're looking forward to seeing his talent develop even further this season."
Veach, of Stockdale, Ohio, topped the speed charts and set an unofficial new track record while testing an Indy Lights car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in mid-2012. This final stepping stone for Veach puts him one season presumably outside of the IZOD IndyCar Series and a shot at attempting to qualify for the Indy 500 as early as 2014 as a 19-year-old, an achievement few teens have realized.
"To be moving up to Firestone Indy Lights is a dream come true," said Veach. "I have to give a big thank you again to K12 for continuing to be a part of my program both on the racetrack and for my education. Without them I would not still be chasing this crazy dream of mine. I also have to thank Michael [Andretti] for continuing to give me this opportunity with the team and to my family and the fans for the continued support."
K12, the nation's largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school, will serve as his primary sponsor keeping Veach on pace to pursue a career as a professional athlete.
"K12 is incredibly excited and proud to have the opportunity to give Zach the tools he needs to achieve his racing dream, while also fulfilling his strong passion for learning," said Ron Packard, CEO and Founder of K12 Inc. "With this sponsorship we hope to introduce more parents and students to the benefits of K12's flexible online education system and show how exceptional students, like Zach, can benefit from an individualized education."
Off the racetrack, Veach was voted "Most Popular Driver" in 2011 and 2012, in addition with being named by ESPN The Magazine as a NEXT athlete in motorsports and to CNN's list of "Intriguing People."
He keeps a community focus as an advocate against distracted driving and bullying prevention, having campaigned alongside Oprah Winfrey and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. In early December, he attended the 2012 NOYS Teen Distracted Driving Summit with the generous support of AT&T. He additionally headlines a national anti-bullying campaign for the Great American No BULL Challenge.
Among his many achievements, he has also authored a book, 99 THINGS TEENS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE TURNING 16, which he released in a special appearance on The Today Show, along with developing the anti-texting auto-response phone app, urTXT through his phone-app building company, ZaAPP.
In addition to K12, Veach's efforts are also supported by: the Young Marines youth organization, ADS IT Solutions, Zakosi Data Backup, Replay XD, OMP, Arai Helmets, and Oakley.
Veach will turn 18 on Dec. 9, entered his senior year of high school at K12 this past fall and is managed by Klint Briney of BRANDed Management.
For more information, please visit www.ZachVeach.com.
For Zach Veach Racing, +1-305-915-7652, email@example.com
SOURCE Zach Veach Racing