By: Ashley McCubbin
Following four seasons of NTT IndyCar Series competition, Zach Veach is taking his career in a new direction and he could not be happier about it.
“This is the happiest that I’ve been in a long time,” he said. “I’m just excited. I’m just excited for the future with this team and get to do my first Rolex – it’s going to be a ton of fun. That’s just the thing that I’ve reveled in so much – the fun is back, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for this opportunity and the opportunities that lie ahead for us all.”
After being let go from Andretti Autosport, the Ohio native signed with Vasser Sullivan Racing to run the full IMSA Weathertech SportsCar GT3 Championship schedule alongside Frankie Montecalvo in the No. 12 Lexus RC F.
“It was one of those decisions that was hard to make at the time,” he admitted. “You spend most of your life chasing one thing and that’s the top of the open-wheel ranks of America. But the more that I sat and just analyzed the last three years and started to think about who I’ve grown into as a person and what has shifted in importance to me, IMSA just kept looking more and more attractive to me. Just the type of racing and the type of driving it rewards, the kind of mentality an IMSA driver needs to have compared to the open-wheel world. It just seemed like such a good fit for me in this time of my career.
“For me, I was just very lucky because there was only one place that I wanted to be over here, and that was with Jimmy and Sully. Things just worked out in the right way that the opportunity made sense for both parties.”
The opportunity allows him to begin knocking races off of his bucket list, beginning with the seasopn opening Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
“To me, it’s just as big as Indy; it’s been on my bucket list for a long time,” he said. “I’ve always heard great stories from guys like Scott Dixon and (Jack) Hawksworth in enjoying this style of racing, and I always wanted my shot and timing was just right to be able to have the perfect opportunity with Lexus and obviously, Vasser-Sullivan.”
The new opportunity also brings a refreshed approach, which will allow other big events to be ticked off for Veach.
“It’s quite a big list, but obviously Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 are on that list, so be able to say I get a chance to knock those off this year is pretty special,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “I’d always like to do LeMans and Baja 1000, and this year I’m actually doing a handful, 10-12 Winged Sprint Car races in the Midwest. So I’m excited about that, too. It’s been nice to have that freedom to go wherever in motorsports that I’d like to, and I will say there will probably be a lot more diversity in my years to come. So I could do Baja and then Chili Bowl, and play in the dirt some, that’s definitely high on my list, too.”
Although his career has taken a new direction, though, he hasn’t totally put IndyCar in the past, hopeful of running the Indianapolis 500 each year.
“That’s something to talk about a little further down the road this year,” he said. “Probably not a 2021 thing, but I definitely love to come back and do the Indianapolis 500. I have four of those under my belt now; it’d be awesome to get a fifth one in, but the opportunity has to make sense.
“But without a doubt, my full focus right now is Lexus RC F GT3, so one day maybe, but it’s nowhere in my mind right now.”