Andretti Autosport Star Mazda Championship driver Zach Veach used four race wins and four pole positions to capture the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear Winter Series championship, his second straight career winter series championship. Veach needed to simply start the final race to clinch the regionalized open-wheel racing series title, capping a five-race winter tour in his No. 77 Zakosi Data Backup Mazda.
Heading into the final round in a two-weekend winter series battle, Veach opened his first visit to Auto Club Speedway with an 11-point lead before taking the wheel for the final three races, following his clean sweep at Infineon Raceway, where he won both races from the pole position.
Veach, a 17-year-old from Stockdale, Ohio, began the first day of practice for the final three races in stellar fashion, topping the speed charts two-tenths of a second off the class track record. Following the first day of practice, Veach felt he still had speed left in his Star Mazda machine, though; weather officials were predicting rain for qualifications and ultimately the race the following day.
For the first race of the weekend and third in the series, Veach used a seven-second advantage to gain the pole position (for regional race one) during qualifications for the third straight time. With moisture gaining access to the electrical system in his car, Veach was forced to retire during the race with an electrical failure, producing his first DNF during the series.
In the second qualifying session (for the national race), Veach again secured the pole position for the fourth race in the series; where he would go on to take the checkered flag.
For the final race of the series, Veach would start from the back of the field, given his DNF result in race three, and as soon as the race went green, Veach plowed to the front of the field, winning by a margin of 15 seconds. With the win, Veach put the finishing touches on clinching the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear Winter Series championship.
"Today went a little better than yesterday did," related Veach. "We managed to win the first race from the pole. Then in the second race we started from 14th and were able to move up to first within 20 feet of the start finish line on the end of the first lap. I'm really proud of what we accomplished here this weekend and can't thank my crew enough for their hard work and support along the way.
"It's a great honor to win the Formula Car Challenge Winter Championship and I would like to thank Michael (Andretti) for giving me this opportunity! This will create great momentum moving toward the 2012 Star Mazda season with Andretti Autosport and Zakosi Data Backup."