Indianapolis, Ind. (March 25, 2019) Harding Steinbrenner Racing was victorious in the inaugural INDYCAR Classic, the second race in the 2019 NTT INDYCAR Series. Eighteen-year-old Colton Herta, who turns 19 on March 30, became the youngest driver ever to win an INDYCAR race. Graham Rahal was 19 when he won eleven years ago.
Herta started in fourth position but ran in third for the majority of the 60-lap race. The #88 Latitude Vacation Club car had finished its final scheduled pit stop on lap 44 immediately before the first and only caution of the race. Because the leaders still had to make their final pit stops, Herta shuffled to first position when the green flag waved on lap 50. The rookie showcased the skills of a veteran by pulling away from former INDYCAR Champion Josef Newgarden then staying in front with a 2.7182 second gap when the checkered flag waved.
While the team ran in second place during Friday morning’s practice, a mechanical issue caused them to miss the second practice of the day. On Saturday, after Friday’s misfortunes, the #88 and Colton Herta surpassed expectations by making the Firestone Fast Six and qualifying on the second row in fourth position.
“We just won the INDYCAR Classic at the Circuit of the Americas!” exclaimed Colton Herta. “Great job by everyone on the team and the Latitude Vacation Club guys. Today was amazing! We all did a hell of a job and really put together the perfect race. The strategy was on point, the pit stops were extremely quick and the #88 car was fast.”
“I thought we were going to get a podium, we were going to get third,” continued Herta. “I think we had the pace for that, but that yellow came out at the perfect time for us. Holy cow, I am worn out! That restart at the end just finished me off. After the last restart, I knew we had good pace. All day long, we were fast in the early laps, then faded toward the end. So on the restart, we were really quick. Just a spectacular day.”
The team looks to continue the momentum from their win at the Circuit of the Americas at Barber Motorsports Park in the Honda Indy Grand Prix on April 7.
About Harding Steinbrenner Racing
Indianapolis based Harding Steinbrenner Racing is led by Indianapolis businessman Mike Harding and George Michael Steinbrenner IV. Brian Barnhart is team president, and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. serves the team as executive consultant. Harding Steinbrenner will compete on a full-time basis in the 2019 IndyCar Series with Colton Herta, driver of the #88 Honda-powered Indy car.
About Colton Herta
Colton Herta began racing go-karts at the age of four. At 12, he turned to cars and promptly won the Pacific F1600 Series championship and finished second in the Skip Barber Summer Series. At 16 years old, the Valencia, California, native quickly impressed by winning the second race of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship 2017 season. That year he also led the series with seven pole positions, set five new track records and earned Rookie of the Year honors. Most recently, Herta won the Rolex 24 Hours IMSA race with the Rahal Letterman Racing team and placed second in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship with four wins, three pole positions and 13 podium finishes.