Aug 17, 2014
WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Looking back on the 14-race Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season, a yellow flag in the final 10 laps of the Milwaukee Mile 100 might prove to be instrumental in the championship aspirations of Zach Veach.
The 19-year-old from Stockdale, Ohio, who started on the pole for the Milwaukee Mile 100, overtook race leader Matthew Brabham on a Lap 96 restart and went on to win by .8605 of a second over his Andretti Autosport teammate to shore up his standing with two races left in the season. Gabby Chaves of Belardi Auto Racing finished third to retain the top spot in the standings with 466 points -- seven ahead of Veach.
Click it: Race results
Chaves entered the 100-lap race with an 18-point advantage over Jack Harvey and 24 points over Veach.
"I'm so happy; we're still in the championship. A couple of races ago it was looking kind of gloomy for us like out year was over, but we've been able to rebound," said Veach, earned his third victory of the season. "If we didn't have that restart, Matthew would have walked away with that victory."
Brabham overtook Veach between Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 40 and built an 8.6-second lead on Lap 90. Two laps later, Luiz Razia's Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian car spun and made rear contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier to bring out the lone caution.
On the Lap 96 restart, Veach made an outside move to get past Brabham for good.
"My engineer told me, 'we need those points, push,' so I was trying to get the best restart that I could," Veach said. "(Brabham) got a little worried and protected the inside, so I got lucky to drive around the outside. I just pushed as hard as I could.
"We have two races at Sonona (Aug. 23-24) and we'll be pushing hard, but (Brabham and Chaves) won't make it easy," Veach said.
Scott Anderson finished a season-high fourth in the No. 24 Fan Force United car and Harvey, who swept the doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course two weeks earlier, placed fifth in the No. 42 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian car. Harvey is third in the championship with 443 points.
"It was definitely not our most competitive race but even with that we are still on the podium so I can't complain," Chaves said. "I am a little disappointed that we lost a decent bit in the points, but there are still two races and that doesn't change our mind-set. We are going to go out there and try to win both races. That's our goal. We are happy where we are, we have the championship lead still and we are just going to out there and have fun and do our best. That's all we can do."