The 16-year-old racecar driver made a name for himself by finishing fifth in his rookie year in the USF 2000 series, but on Dec. 14 he'll face his toughest challenge so far in the driver's seat -- his road test.
Veach started racing go-karts at age 12 (some kids start as young as age 5) and quickly sped to the top of the youth racing circuit, landing a coveted spot on the Andretti Autosport team last season. But despite his accomplishments on the track, he's not permitted to drive on the road until he passes his driver's exam and earns his license.
"You can get your permit when you're 15 and a half, then you have to have 50 hours driving with a parent and then 10 hours driving at night," he told AOL News. "That's about how much I have in a street car.
"I don't really beg my parents to let me drive on the road because I feel a little uncomfortable on highways compared to a racetrack," said Veach, who turns 16 today. "On the racetrack, 90 percent of the time we're all going the same direction."
It might seem like it would be more difficult to drive a high-power racer modeled after Formula One car than it would be to drive a Mazda sedan, like the one Veach will use when he takes his road test. But the Ohio teen says he'd take the racecar any day.
"A racecar handles very well, it stops very well," said Veach. "I feel very safe when I'm belted into a racecar -- I know exactly where everything is at.
"In a street car, everything seems little looser. You have to push harder on the breaks to get it to stop, you have to turn the wheel a lot more to get it to turn. A street car just doesn't handle as good as a racecar."
All of those hours on the track have honed Veach's racing instincts, but they've also left him with a few bad habits he's trying to kick before his exam.
First, he'll have to make sure he doesn't hit the brakes with his left foot, like he does when he's racing. And he'll have to remember that drafting other cars won't help him get his license any faster.
"I think the biggest challenge going form the racetrack to the highway is that I always follow [other cars] too closely. On the racetrack, you don't have a limit about how closely you can follow someone," he said. "My dad has warned me about it."
Veach admits "it might be a bit embarrassing" if he doesn't get his license on the first try, but thanks to help from his father and driving instructor Don Neff, Veach says he's confident he'll do well behind the wheel.
"I'm not nervous," he said. "I think I'm going to pass -- it's just practice and experience."
Though he doesn't have a license, Veach has already shown his commitment to safe driving. In the hours when he's not angling for poll position, the teen has crafted a cellphone app called urTXT designed to keep people from texting while driving. He's also served as a "spokeskid" for Oprah Winfrey's "No Phone Zone" campaign against texting while driving.
Though he's more eager to race on the track than he is to drive on the road, Veach says he's really looking forward to getting his license.
And he's not the only one.
"I do a lot of [remote control] car racing in the off season," he said. "It will be nice when I don't have to drag my parents out and have them sit around and wait for me for hours."
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