Zach Veach’s smile precedes almost everything that takes place in his world. The third-year IndyCar driver casts a bright light with his personality when things are going according to plan. It came to the fore when he arrived as a rookie in 2018. Less so, in his sophomore campaign with Andretti Autosport, as that smile was largely extinguished once the ease with which he drove became distant and disconnected.

“That first year we didn’t have any expectations, so it was just driving for fun,” he told RACER. “And then, when some good things happened, it was turning everything up for the second year with pressure applied to yourself, and from your engineer, and all of us to repeat the good stuff we achieved the first year, but do better and to try harder. And the opposite is what happened. It made things worse. We tried to close the gap to the leaders by pushing too much, and lost sight of what worked in the first place.”

Entering the final year of his contract with the powerhouse team, the Ohioan will face more pressure than many of his rivals throughout the shortened 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. Down from 17 races to 14, Veach has the clearest objectives imaginable as he readies himself for the green flag tonight in Texas: Recapture his 2018 form, impress Gainbridge, the sponsor that brought him into IndyCar, and earn a new deal to stay with Andretti Autosport for 2021 and beyond.

If he’s smiling throughout the year, he’s likely safe. If it’s wrinkled brows and thousand-yard stares, Veach’s IndyCar dream could be over after the season finale in October.

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By: Marshall Pruett
Title: Veach looking to go faster by making it fun again
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Published Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2020 14:23:41 +0000




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