Colton Herta Didn’t Luck Into Sunday’s Win At Circuit Of The Americas

Colton Herta became the youngest winner in IndyCar Sunday when he claimed a shock victory in the series first visit to Circuit of The Americas.

Will Power dominated Sunday’s race and appeared to be en route to winning the race and COTA’s “$100k Win From The Pole Challenge.” One of the worst promotions a race track and their staff have ever thought. The idea of encouraging the pole sitter to also win the race seems counter productive to having a good race. Then again that could just be the opinion of this guy sitting on his couch in Cincinnati watching Shameless.

Power didn’t go flag to flag on Sunday thanks to a late race caution trapped himself and second place Alexander Rossi out during pit sequence. Felix Rosenqvist made contact with James Hinchcliffe who showed everyone Felix is not his favorite Swede this year. Thanks to no track limits in Turn 19 the two hit sending Felix into the wall and to a rest right at pit entrance.

The #12 and #27 took a chance by staying out too long. Pit early with third place Colton Herta and play it safe or run longer while experiencing little drop off with older tires. They both opted for the latter and it killed them in the end. Herta pitted early and when the caution came out he moved to the lead as the other two pitted.

On that pit sequence under caution Power had what appeared to be a driveshaft failure. As the defending 500 winner desperately tried to over rev his way out of the pits he watched his race win slide right into the hands of Herta. Power said after he got out of the car that its ridiculous IndyCar has this rule set for pitting when the caution comes out. He’s not wrong, it has cost the fastest car the win a number of times.

However, that doesn’t take away from what Colton Herta did. The 18-year old took a team in Harding Steinbrenner Racing to the top step of the podium in only his third IndyCar race. This is the same Harding team that wondered if they would even exist in 2019. Herta’s speed, HSR’s strategy, and Felix Rosenqvist put him on the top step of the podium. You can say the win was handed to him, but just remember he ran second or third the entire race. In the end, it’s who gets to the checkered flag first and Sunday it was a goofy 18-year old with a team owner who is the age of most grad school students. The combined age of owner and driver is a whopping 41 years old, poor Tony Kanaan. Kid even got a swig of champagne as the IndyCar handler handed him the wrong bottle.

Notable Shoutouts

Josef Newgarden followed up his victory at the season opener in St. Pete with a second place finish at COTA as he lengthens his points lead.

Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the podium, followed by Grahama Rahal putting American drivers 1-4 on Sunday.

Marco Andretti finished 6th, a massively successful day for Bryan Herta’s driver. Pretty decent day to be the elder Herta on Sunday.

In Pato O’Ward deserves a huge shoutout too. A month after being dumped by Harding Steinbrenner he makes his second career IndyCar start and finishes 8th for the Carlin team. He beat Herta heads up in Indy Lights last year, look for him to contend once he’s more comfortable with his new team.

1488   Colton HertaHarding Steinbrenner RacingD/H/F60running1551
272   Josef NewgardenPPG Paints / Verizon   (Roger Penske)D/C/F60running040
3328   Ryan Hunter-ReayDHL   (Andretti Autosport)D/H/F60running035
41015   Graham RahalTotal / United Rentals / Mi-Jack   (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)D/H/F60running032
51718   Sebastien BourdaisSealMaster / Sport Clips   (Dale Coyne w/Vasser-Sullivan)D/H/F60running030
62098   Marco AndrettiU.S. Concrete / Curb   (AHA / Marco & Curb-Agajanian)D/H/F60running028
71430   Takuma SatoMi-Jack / Panasonic   (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)D/H/F60running026
8831   Patricio O’WardTrevor CarlinD/C/F60running024
9227   Alexander RossiNAPA Auto Parts   (Andretti Autosport)D/H/F60running022
102360   Jack HarveyAutoNation / SiriusXM   (Meyer Shank Racing / Arrow SPM)D/H/F60running020
111921   Spencer PigotAutoweek / Direct Supply   (Ed Carpenter Racing)D/C/F60running019
122414   Tony KanaanABC Supply Co.   (A.J. Foyt)D/C/F60running018
1369   Scott DixonPNC Bank   (Chip Ganassi)D/H/F60running017
141820   Ed JonesAutoweek / Flex Box   (Ed Carpenter Racing)D/C/F60running016
15167   Marcus EricssonArrow / Lucas Oil   (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)D/H/F60running015
16155   James HinchcliffeArrow / Lucas Oil   (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)D/H/F60running014
17124   Matheus LeistABC Supply Co.   (A.J. Foyt)D/C/F60running013
182132   Kyle KaiserNFP   (Juncos Racing)D/C/F60running012
192222   Simon PagenaudMenards / Verizon   (Roger Penske)D/C/F60running011
201119   Santino FerrucciDavid Yurman / Cly-Del   (Dale Coyne)D/H/F60running010
211359   Max ChiltonGallagher Insurance   (Trevor Carlin)D/C/F59running09
22926   Zach VeachGainbridge   (Andretti Autosport)D/H/F58running08
23510   Felix RosenqvistNTT Data   (Chip Ganassi)D/H/F55running07
24112   Will PowerVerizon   (Roger Penske)D/C/F46mechanical4510

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