Veach to race in Indy 500 for second straight season
Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach, a native of Stockdale in Pike County, will be racing in the 102nd annual Indianapolis 500, which will take pace on Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis, Ind.
Veach, who has been among the fastest-rising stars in the Indy Racing League (IRL), has started all five races in the No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda for former Championship Auto Racing Tour (CART) Championship driver Michael Andretti’s unit. In those five starts, Veach doesn’t have a win or a podium finish (top three), but finished fourth at Long Beach (Calif.) and has completed 612 of 615 laps for a strong 99.5 percent mark in laps completed.
Prior to competing full-time in the No. 26 machine for Andretti Autosport — and for two races for the legendary A.J. Foyt in 2017 — Veach cut his teeth with Andretti Autosport and Belardi Auto Racing in the Indy Lights ranks, which, by comparison, is a development series similar to what the NASCAR Xfinity Series is to NASCAR Monster Energy Cup or what Triple AAA baseball is to MLB.
In 44 starts, Veach led 293 laps, won six races, obtained six additional pole positions, and finished on the podium in 18 of his 44 races, or 41 percent of his starts.
Tanks thrash Lightning, 41-14
Behind another electric performance from Job Swords, who threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns, the West Portsmouth Tanks’ football program collected an impressive 41-14 victory over the West Virginia Lightning last Saturday at Calvert Field in Montgomery, W. Va.
Swords, who completed 14 of his 26 passes on Saturday, threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Duke Edwards (1:45, first) and a 43-yard touchdown pass to Forrest Johnson (12:25, second) to start the scoring as West Portsmouth took a 12-8 first-half advantage.
In the second half of play, Markel Cain, who collected 154 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, took an 18-yard tote to the house to increase the Tanks’ advantage to 20-8. Swords added two 35-yard touchdown passes to Johnson and Edwards to put the contest away for good.
Defensively, Chance Freeman’s 11 tackles and Dale Swords’ 10 led West Portsmouth, while the Tanks also accumulated seven sacks, including two by Johnny Rawlins, 1.5 sacks each from Freeman and Edwards, and one each from Dion McKinley and Dalton Billiter. Darion Robinson added a pick to round out the Tanks’ efforts.
West Portsmouth is off this Saturday, but the 1-1 Tanks will be back in action when West Portsmouth takes on the Tri-State (Ky.) Saints in a road contest on Saturday, June 2.
Jackson falls by 6-3, 6-4 tally
In a tightly-contested bout, Wheelersburg’s Drew Jackson fell to Lexington’s Benton Drake, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round of the OHSAA Division II Boys Tennis State Tournament at Lindner Family Center in Mason.
Despite the defeat, the junior still holds an astounding 77-9 record over his three-year high school career. Jackson, who won the SOC’s Player of the Year Award in each of his three seasons in a Wheelersburg uniform, won the Division II East/Southeast District Championship as a singles player to qualify for state and has gone 27-3, 25-3, and 25-3 in each of his first three seasons as the singles hand in the Wheelersburg program.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT