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May 14, 2010 - 06:57 AM
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Zach Veach To Campaign For Oprah Winfrey's No Phone Zone By Adding Indy 500's 33 Drivers To Petition
Posted by: MSulka on May 14, 2010 - 06:51 AM
IndyCar News
Zach Veach To Campaign For Oprah Winfrey's No Phone Zone By Adding Indy 500's 33 Drivers To Petition


Andretti Autosport announced today that 15-year-old American driver Zach Veach, who competes in the USF2000 National Championship as part of the Indy Racing League's 'Road to Indy' program, has joined legendary talk-show host Oprah Winfrey in her quest to make today's cars a "No Phone Zone." Veach will assist Winfrey in obtaining the signatures of the 33 drivers that qualify for this year's Indianapolis 500 for her anti-texting petition.

"I'm really excited to get the Indy 500 drivers on board with Oprah's campaign," said Veach, who wrapped his first-ever oval test last week, clocking in third quick on the timing charts. "I signed Oprah's pledge in Chicago on April 30 while attending the show and think it's a necessary program to make today's roads safer."

 

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Veach, a native of Stockdale, Ohio, has been working to educate teen drivers about the perils of texting while behind the wheel, and is finishing a book, due out Dec. 9 on his 16th birthday. Earlier this year, Veach spoke in front of the Ohio House of Representatives in an effort to pass a Distractive Driving bill, which was put into legislation just last month. He's even putting the finishing touches on an iPhone and Droid application that alerts others that you are driving and will text them back later.

On April 30, Veach attended The Oprah Winfrey Show for her "No Phone Zone" day where she profiled heart-breaking stories of the consequences of texting while behind the wheel. Veach spoke to the audience before the show about his interest in helping educate others about the dangers of texting through his racing efforts. He also spoke with Winfrey after the show about his campaign in helping her get autoracing's best drivers to sign her pledge.

"As professional race car drivers, these athletes have an opportunity to have a big voice in helping save lives," continued Veach, who plans to join the IZOD IndyCar Series as a competitor once he graduates from the three-year 'Road to Indy' program. "I hope my teammates at Andretti Autosport will sign the pledge and I can't wait to educate the rest of the Indy 500 field about this campaign. Having everyone's involvement will make a big splash for Oprah's initiative."

Veach has made it his goal to get all 33 drivers who qualify for this year's 2010 Indianapolis 500, the world's largest single-day sporting event, to sign Winfrey's "No Phone Zone" pledge. Veach will spend May, National Youth Traffic Safety Month, competing in two USF2000 events while also getting such notable drivers attempting to qualify for this year's race to sign Winfrey's pledge including his five fellow Andretti Autosport teammates Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and John Andretti.

The IZOD IndyCar Series' celebrity-athletes would join more than 300,000 people who have already signed the "No Phone Zone" pledge, including a bevy of more than 60 notable celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Jerry Seinfeld, Shaun White, Lady Antebellum, Tyler Perry, Tina Fey, Kris Allen, Morgan Freeman, Sir Elton John and the cast of TV's Glee, among others.

The athletes who qualify for this year's Indy 500 will be signing Winfrey's pledge on Apple's new iPad while also autographing the back of the iPad for auction at www.charityBUZZ.com along with an IZOD IndyCar Series experience at an upcoming race to benefit FocusDriven, an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using cell phones and the official beneficiary in Winfrey's "No Phone Zone" campaign. Tune into the 2010 Indianapolis 500 on ABC Sunday, May 30 for an update on if Veach was able to get all 33 drivers to sign Winfrey's pledge.



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