George Michael Steinbrenner IV
George Steinbrenner, the boss, spent 37 years cutting checks and taking trophies in pinstripes. His grandson, 21-year-old George Michael Steinbrenner IV, wants to do the same in IndyCar. He is getting closer thanks to 18-year-old Colton Herta.
So what would the New York Yankees icon say about up-and-comer Colton Herta? “I think he would say, ‘You can keep him. You can keep him around. He is doing pretty well. Pay the man (laughs),'” George Michael Steinbrenner said.
Steinbrenner co-owns the No. 98 Indy Lights car with the help of Andretti Autosport. Colton, just like his father, Bryan, does the rest. Most recently, the pair swept a weekend of Indy Lights Grand Prix races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It is massive and it is fun to enjoy it with George (Steinbrenner) because I don’t feel like he is my team owner, I think of him as my friend. When you think of a team owner or a CEO of a company, you think, ‘Oh he is old’. George is 21-years-old. It is crazy,” Herta said.
If Colton can pull off the 2018 Indy Lights season championship, Herta, Steinbrenner and Andretti will earn $1 million in scholarship money to put towards a move to IndyCar. If that were to happen, all signs point to that move coming in 2019. It is important to note, coming from the Freedom 100 this championship chase is extremely close. Colton Herta leads the points with 189 followed by Pato O’Ward with 183 and Santiago Urittia in 3rd with 168 points.
If Colton claims the title and makes the jump then part of the question becomes — Is George Michael Steinbrenner the next big time Indycar owner that can stake his own claim in the series?
One place Steinbrenner already feels at home in is Indianapolis. Which, you know, is important. “It is hard to put into words,” Steinbrenner said. “There is really no place in the world like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The atmosphere, the history, the emotions, the traditions…it is some place where I get to wake up in the morning and go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is amazing.”
Santiago “Santi” Urittia
His motorsport career started when he was a small child in dirt motorcycling. He debuted at the Uruguayan Karting Championship at age 5. In 2009 he won the Argentine Pre Junior Championship and the Metropolitan Mini Junior Apertura Championship. In 2010 he won the Uruguayan Master Championship.
At the 2010 Karting World Championship, he qualified 5th for the pre-final, but was involved in two incidents and finished the final in 18th place. At age 14, Urrutia moved it Italy in 2011 and competed at the WSK Euro Series KF3. Also in 2011 he took part in the Formula Abarth season.
He took part in the Pro Mazda Championship in 2015, and clinched the championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, sixteen years and one day after the death of Gonzalo Rodríguez in a practice accident at the same venue. Urrutia became the first Uruguayan driver to win a major racing championship, and earned a promotion to Indy Lights.
For 2016 he competed in Indy Lights for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Urrutia was in the hunt for the series title until the final pair of races of the season, where he ultimately lost the championship to Ed Jones by two points. Urrutia won four races on his way to second place in the championship. He returned to the series in 2017 with Belardi Auto Racing. He scored two wins and six second place finishes, finishing runner-up to Kyle Kaiser.
See you at McGilvery’s Speedway Tuesday evening…