Race Weekend Central

Colton Herta Finishes Seventh in Chaotic Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

INDIANAPOLIS– In the span of 25 seconds at the beginning of Saturday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Colton Herta went from starting 24th up to 16th place by turn 3, but then back down the field after getting hit by teammate Marcus Ericsson, which forced Herta through the gravel trap outside of turn 4.

Herta ended the first of 85 laps in 25th place. When the checkered flag flew, the No. 26 Andretti Global Honda was seventh, 18.85 seconds behind race winner Alex Palou.

Herta’s path through the 27-car field came mostly through pit strategy as race strategist Rob Edwards carved a path for his driver to follow. After regrouping following the first-lap incident, Herta moved up to 20th place before pitting for the first time at the end of Lap 12. After the rest of the field made their initial stops, Herta was now running in 12th place.

The second sequence of pit stops vaulted Herta up to ninth, which became eighth after Luca Ghiotto stopped on the side of the track. Eighth became seventh after Herta passed Alexander Rossi on Lap 69, and the 2022 Indianapolis road course winner maintained his position for the rest of the race.

For Herta, the result validated what the team already knew. The team had a fast car and they knew it, but had to start 24th after Herta ran out of fuel in the first round of qualifying on Friday afternoon.

“It is what it is,” Herta said of the qualifying misfortune on pit road. “You’ve just got to move on from it. I can’t think about that and what could have been. It was a good job. We did a really good job today to get where we were.”

At the start, Herta gained several positions after multiple cars had contact in the first corner sequence and slowly raced through the first two corners on the track. Herta was up to 16th before Ericsson locked up in Turn 4, oversteering into Herta and putting his Andretti Global teammate through the gravel trap outside of Turn 4. Herta rejoined the pavement on the outside of the gravel trap to continue in the race and had a few choice words about the incident for NBC’s Kevin Lee after the race.

“Your teammate’s leading the championship and you race him like an ass like that, like I don’t know what you’re thinking,” Herta said of Ericsson. “He probably broke deeper than in qualifying right there and he runs me clean off the track. Like, you’ve got to be smarter than that, man. So dumb.”

Herta kept his cool and gained the biggest mover award for improving 17 positions from where he started. The next IndyCar track activity comes on Tuesday May 14th with practice beginning for the 108th Indianapolis 500.

About the author

Christopher DeHarde has covered IndyCar racing and the Road to Indy for various outlets since 2014. In addition to open wheel racing, DeHarde has also covered IMSA and various short track racing events around Indiana. Originally from New Orleans, DeHarde moved to the Indianapolis area in 2017 to further pursue a career as a motorsports writer.

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