ELKHART LAKE, Wis.– Colton Herta ended up being the youngest pole winner in IndyCar history Saturday, topping certifying at Road America with a lap of 1 minute, 42.9920 seconds on the 4.014- mile circuit.
At 19 years, 83 days, Herta broke the mark of 20 years, 90 days set by Graham Rahal in 2009 at St. Petersburg.
Not bad for a chauffeur who “hated” the method his automobile was managing in the very first session of the weekend.
“We were near the back,” Herta stated. “But there hasn’t been a race track that we’ve gone to that I haven’t felt comfortable with the race car or the qualifying car. I knew we could get there if we put our heads down and got to it.”
Herta, the child of previous IndyCar chauffeur Bryan Herta, raced to his very first profession success in Austin, Texas, this year. The pole likewise was the very first for Harding-Steinbrenner Racing, the group co-owned by George Steinbrenner IV, grand son of the late New York Yankees owner.
“There have been very few guys in my career that have come along that were as young as him, No. 1, but No. 2, in as good of a position as he is,” Rahal stated. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody in that position and so he’s done an excellent job fulfilling that, taking advantage of it and making it happen. Which says a lot, right? Because there’s guys who can go in good equipment and can’t get it done.”
Alexander Rossi will begin 2nd Sunday, followed by Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Rahal and Takuma Sato.
Andretti Autosport has a technical alliance with Herta’s Harding-Steinbrenner group– so, with Rossi beginning 2nd, Andretti technically swept the front row on Saturday.
“To me the Andretti cars are the best cars this year, best cars everywhere,” Rahal stated. “It’s impressive. It’s really impressive when you look at the six of them, however many there are. Feels like 30 of them.”