American prospect Veach jumps to Indy Lights

As the Mazda Road to Indy has regained some presence in the last few years, we’ve begun hearing more about the future of the IZOD IndyCar Series. Naturally enough, talented American prospects such as Sage Karam, Spencer Pigot and Shannon MacIntosh have garnered most of the buzz amongst the fan base.

But 17-year-old Zach Veach may be the most well-known of the bunch. In addition to winning on a consistent basis, he’s been tagged as a “NEXT” athlete by ESPN The Magazine and is even a published author. The Ohio native has been running with Andretti Autosport while making his way up the ladder, and in 2013, he’ll climb another rung by entering Firestone Indy Lights.

Veach, who collected three top-5 and nine top-10 finishes in Star Mazda last season, will be a teammate to second-year Andretti FIL racer Carlos Munoz, who showed he was no slouch himself with two wins at Edmonton and Fontana in 2012. The American-Colombian pairing should prove a formidable one in the Lights category.

Going back to Veach, his comments on the move sound relatively giddy — which is what you’d expect from a teenage boy whose fast ride just got even faster.

“It’s crazy to think I’m going into my fourth season in 2013 with Andretti Autosport,” said Veach in a team release. “I’m still just as excited as I was the first day I joined the team, and to be moving up to Firestone Indy Lights is a dream come true.  The cars are very similar to the Atlantics car, which I spent a considerable amount of time testing in 2009 and 2010.

“I’m stoked to jump up to a bigger car with more horsepower and the start of the season can’t come soon enough!”

Team owner Michael Andretti is also hopeful for more success with Veach in 2013.

“He’s been with us for each step of the ladder so far and we’ve continued to be impressed by him,” said the Champ Car legend. “We’re looking forward to seeing his talent develop even further this season.”