The best race of the NTT IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach almost didn’t happen. In the moments leading up to the Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway, the crew of the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda found a puddle of fuel in the pit box.
The work was swift and apparently precise.
“They identified exactly what it was and worked extremely quick and got me back to the grid (ahead of) the 10-minute call to get suited and strapped in,” Veach said after starting 20th in the race of 22 entries. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have had (the result).”
That result was a seventh-place finish that saw Veach gain 13 positions, one of the largest gains through the field of the season. There were only 13 instances where more positions were gained in a single race and four of those came in the expanded, 33-car Indianapolis 500 field.
Veach certainly had a strong car, and his drive was one to behold.
“It was one of those (races) where you had to be the most aggressive person to get the spots,” he said. “I think we had one restart towards the end of the race where I dove to the inside of (Turn) 3 and I thought our race was over then. Luckily, I came together with my teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and he kind of saved both of us because it was such a tight corner.
“That is the way short-track racing is. You are going to be wheel to wheel here and there.”
Here's a taste of how Veach drove: