Colton Herta, driver the No.88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda, made history as the youngest driver to ever win an IndyCar race when he crossed the finish line at the Indycar Classic on March 24th.
Herta’s weekend in Austin began with a car fire, and ended with the top spot of the podium. During the first practice on Friday, the No. 88 Honda started leaking fluid on the track, and Herta had to stop and quickly jump out of the car.
Much of the practice session was under red flag as the crew took care of the car and the racetrack, and the fastest lap went to Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden with 1 minute, 48.6567 seconds.
The fastest during practice session 2 was the reigning Indy500 winner Will Power, in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, with 1 minute. 47.4401 seconds.
Practice 3 saw faster times as Alexander Rossi topped the chart in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda, with the fastest lap of 1 minute, 46.9148 seconds. Rossi was followed closely by Felix Rosenqvist in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda.
In qualifying, Will Power won his 56th career IndyCar pole with a lap time of 1 minute, 46.0177 seconds. Behind Power, Alexander Rossi and his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, followed by series rookie Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist, and Scott Dixon.
Qualifying fourth was a big success for Herta, after missing practice session 2 while his crew had to rush and change engines after the mishap in the first practice session.
During the race on Sunday, Herta took the lead when Power, Rossi, and Dixon made a pit stop under yellow flag. Once the race restarted, he was able to maintain the lead and cross the finish line 2.7812 seconds ahead of Josef Newgarden of Team Penske, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal.
Will Power, after starting from pole with the No. 12, remained in the lead for over half of the race, but had to make a pit stop at lap 46 during the full course caution. To complicate things, the drive shaft on his car broke as he was leaving the pits, and he finished last in the field.
Tony Kanaan, who had started the race in last place, was able to finish in 12th place after a solid race. Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato ran a very good race and finished in 7th place.
This is the first win for Herta, and also for team owners by Mike Harding and George Michael Steinbrenner IV. While Herta is the youngest winner in IndyCar history at 18, Steinbrenner is the youngest winning team owner at 22 years of age.
The next NTT IndyCar Series race is the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park