LEEDS, Ala – Colton Herta has been a breath of fresh air in the NTT IndyCar Series. The young rookie phenom finished eighth in his second career Indy Car start on the streets of St. Pete. In his second race of the 2019 season, the Harding Steinbrenner Racing driver reached victory lane.
Two weeks ago, Herta became the youngest race winner in series history when he took his No. 88 Honda to victory lane at COTA. He lucked out a little bit with Will Power and Alexander Rossi going too long on their final pit sequences and a caution falling in the middle of it. That handed the lead to Herta who despite having far fewer push to passes than second place Josef Newgarden, held him off for the win.
Now, Herta, fresh off his 19th birthday, is looking to go back-to-back.
So far, it’s looking like he has a legitimate chance to do so. Herta, was sixth, second and fourth respectively in the trio of practices around the 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports Park road course this weekend to go along with qualifying ninth for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (4 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network).
That should give him a good shot at the win.
“Another solid qualifying by the No. 88 GESS International team today,” said the second generation driver. “We’re going to start ninth in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama tomorrow. It’s not terrible, but it’s not where we’d like to be. We’d like to be in the Firestone Fast Six. I know we had the speed and the car is fast, but it just didn’t work out for us. Unfortunately, we were so close and we just needed that little bit to get back in, but the field is so tight that we didn’t make it. We have great pace and I think we have good old tire pace, too, so after we look at everything during tomorrow’s warmup, we’ll be ready to race.
Herta, has been extremely quick in all three race weekend’s overall. In St. Pete, he was 17th, fourth and ninth respectively in practice. At COTA, he was second, 24th (didn’t participate) and 12th respectively. He’s had laps to qualify in the Fast Six in both but was penalized for impeding Charlie Kimball at St. Pete.
The kid has talent and the speed to win.