Post-Iowa, Veach looks to continue mid-year roll into Toronto

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

It speaks volumes about how much better Zach Veach and the Belardi Auto Racing team are as a collective unit in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season, that second place last weekend in Iowa Speedway was such a bitter pill to swallow.

Veach lost the lead in the final laps when trying to lap Carlin’s Neil Alberico, and Felix Serralles had enough momentum to pass on the inside through Turns 1 and 2 to snatch the victory. Veach, who’d started sixth but improved to the lead in his No. 5 Dallara IL-15 Mazda, was left to finish second.

But considering the opening eight races this year brought only two podium finishes (two third-place results), Veach has now added three straight since Road America with a win there in race one, third in race two and second now at Iowa.

He’s obviously been the highest scoring driver in the series in that stretch and has leapt from seventh in points after the Freedom 100, then 71 points behind points leader Ed Jones, to now fifth in points and 42 back with seven races to go – and perhaps still with an outside shot at the title depending on the fortunes of Jones and his proverbial sparring partners, rookies Dean Stoneman and Santiago Urrutia.

“Honestly it’s about keeping that momentum going,” Veach told NBC Sports. “We got to the halfway point in the season where it all came to me. After my first year in 2013, I did the offseason testing and learned more. I came back in 2014 and we were right where we needed to be.

“It’s similar this year, but in a much quicker time frame,” he added. “We had speed and incredible car at St. Pete, once we got further into the year, I kept making mistakes. I was under-driving when it was fast, and then started over-driving and making mistakes. I’m performing back to where I am as I can. Really excited for Toronto because we’re building now.”

You’d expect Veach, the 21-year-old out of Stockdale, Ohio who’s in his sixth year on the Mazda Road to Indy (2010-2014) to be in title contention because this is his third year in Indy Lights. But that being said, this is his first year in the new car, having raced the old car in 2013 and 2014.

And the other element of concern for Veach of course going into this year was that although the intention was always to complete the full year, the year began on a several-race tryout to see if they could keep going.

“Honestly it started off where, right, things were looking good for about half a year,” Veach explained. “We got to the halfway point… then we win and get third at Road America. Now after the second, now we’re almost back in the championship, and we’ve bettered our odds to stay in for the year.”

Veach enters this weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader weekend in Toronto with his third different teammate situation in as many weekends at the Brian Belardi-owned, John Brunner-led team.

At Road America, he had series debutante but local track veteran James French in the second car while Felix Rosenqvist had a European commitment (DTM) – although he was still pleased to see Veach won.

At Iowa, Veach ran solo and while Rosenqvist is back this weekend in Toronto, the second car remains TBD for Mid-Ohio because Rosenqvist will be at the Spa 24 Hours on the same weekend.

That makes the continuity difficult, but Veach is rolling with the changes and welcomes having Rosenqvist’s presence at least for this weekend, first.

“Felix is a friend first before a competitor,” Veach says of the driver he’s called the “best teammate he’s ever had.”

“And yeah, not having a teammate or different ones can be tough. But Belardi Auto Racing has been one team. Everyone puts their efforts into one goal. There’s no rivalry inside the team.

“It’s basically a small family. John Brunner does a great job running the team. It doesn’t feel like a small team. You feel like you have a chance to push it every single weekend.”

Veach finished fifth in 2014, and seventh in 2013, in his two past Indy Lights starts in Toronto.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s