The Young Marines youth organization salutes teen race car driver Zach Veach, 19, on his first place win in the season opener of the Indy Lights race held Sunday, March 30, in St. Petersburg, FL. He won by leading every lap of the race. After six laps behind the pace car, Veach won by 5.4610 seconds.
“The entire Young Marines organization is very proud of Zach and his crew,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “It was a thrill to be with Zach in St. Petersburg for his first Indy Lights win, and we are confident this is just the start of outstanding things to come.”
The Young Marines has sponsored Veach’s race program for the past three years, and they’ve partnered together to encourage youth to serve as leaders and remain drug-free. As part of the affiliation, Veach is an honorary Young Marine and carries the organization’s far-reaching message across the country.
A resident of Stockdale, Ohio, Veach began his second season with Andretti Autosport at the Indy Lights race.
"This winter I spent a lot of time working on my strength,” Veach said. “I also spent a lot of time doing mental exercises, and I came into the season with a whole new attitude. I think it paid off for us.”
Just prior to the race, Michael Andretti, Veach’s mentor and coach, gave him some valuable pointers, the main one was how to take Chavez (the pole car) in the first turn. Coming out of the second turn, Zach was leading, and he never let that position go.
“The celebrations in the pit lane and victory circle were incredible,” Kessler said. “Zach was quick to thank his race team, his dad and the Young Marines for being there with him to celebrate the victory.”
At age 14, Veach was racing go-karts. Four years later, at 19, he is in the cockpit of an open-wheel Indy Lights machine, chosen by Michael Andretti for a coveted spot on one of the most successful American open-wheel teams - Andretti Autosport.
“The Young Marines has done a great job helping a lot of kids,” Veach said. “My association with the organization began in 2011, when I became the proud spokesperson for the Young Marines. Had I known about the group when I was younger, I would have been a Young Marine. I am working to make the Young Marines a household name.”
The mission of the Young Marines has similar themes and focuses exclusively on young people: “…to positively impact America's future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.”
The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.
For more information, visit the official website at: http://www.YoungMarines.com.
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Ginny Richardson Public Relations
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