Zach Veach put a solid show on Saturday night (Aug. 25), resulting in his second career top-five finish and first top five on an oval.
Veach has made gains as of late, and it was business as usual at Gateway Motorsports Park. The caution that set up the fuel-mileage run involved his Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, who lost fuel pressure on lap 172. When that happened, Veach used the speed his car had and a last-minute strategy change to secure his second-straight top-10 finish.
“We were trying to hit a fuel number that [Alexander] Rossi was and with that, I was really under pressure between [Ed] Jones and [Simon] Pagenaud,” Veach said. “My idea at the time was to try and get by Rossi and then try to have some clean track to save fuel but once I got out there, I just thought, ‘Let’s just keep going and going and even if we have to do a splash-and-go, hopefully it’ll work out,’ and it did. We only lost a couple of spots and to walk away with a top five for the Group One Thousand One guys is awesome.”
As business began to pick up during the final green-flag stops of the race, Veach’s team made a gamble that didn’t result in a victory but still earned him a respectable finish.
“Well, you’ve got to push, right?” he said. “I knew we couldn’t stay in that situation and I was really struggling to hit that fuel number. That is something I need to learn and get better at, but luckily it all worked out.
“I have had a ton of guidance from my teammates and my team to kind of put myself in these situations. I am just so thankful to come out here and to have another top-10 finish and another top five.”