Andretti Autosport confirms Herta in #26 Gainbridge entry

Andretti Autosport-Honda has announced that Colton Herta will switch to the team’s #26 car, as the Harding Steinbrenner name is dropped.

Andretti Autosport confirms Herta in #26 Gainbridge entry
Listen to this article

Herta raced under the Harding Steinbrenner Racing banner in his rookie season of 2019, with the team nominally only an AA satellite operation, but this became Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport in 2020.

For next season, Herta, who already has three race wins to his credit, takes over the #26 Andretti Autosport-Honda. From 2018, this entry was piloted by Zach Veach who relinquished the cockpit to James Hinchcliffe (pictured above) for the last three rounds of 2020.

As Motorsport.com predicted in October, Herta will be sponsored by Gainbridge, which according to the team’s release is “a digital platform providing simple and direct access to trusted financial products to help clients grow their money for goals big and small, not just for retirement.”

“Colton has quickly shown in the NTT IndyCar Series that talent and drive produce winning results,” said Dan Towriss, CEO and president, Group1001 and the Gainbridge brand. “Gainbridge is proud to align with Colton and Andretti Autosport to represent our brand and values… The confidence and consistency demonstrated by Colton makes him a great fit to represent Group1001 and Gainbridge.”

Although Herta scored ‘only’ one win in his sophomore season, it was the team’s sole triumph of 2020, and Herta’s remarkable pace, consistency and relative absence of error when the team was struggling in the first half of the season helped him finish third in the points race, beaten only by Scott Dixon (Ganassi) and Josef Newgarden (Penske).

“We’re really excited to welcome back Gainbridge and look forward to seeing what Colton can do in 2021,” said Michael Andretti, chairman and CEO of Andretti Autosport. “Colton’s career has been on a steady rise. We’re confident that he will continue to grow and advance, and we’ll see the #26 in victory lane soon.”

Herta told Motorsport.com that he’s optimistic that his third place in the championship can be improved upon for 2021, but admitted he still feels he has things to learn from his more experienced teammates.

“I never felt qualifying was a problem, and never felt that since joining the series,” he said, “but my problems initially were racecraft and managing an entire stint. I still don’t think I’m quite at the level of [teammate] Alexander Rossi in that regard, particularly when it comes to saving fuel while still going fast. Some tracks I’m just as good as him but I noticed this year that other tracks I struggle in that direction.

“So I’ve been working hard in the offseason, going over some data and trying to close the gap. But there are some things that Rossi does really well in the races that I’m trying to work towards now.

Herta agreed he did endeavor to make the most of his car during Andretti Autosport’s early-season difficulties in 2020, but added, “It wasn’t all me, though. I did think I was driving quite well last year, but I think on days we were struggling, we sometimes got a little bit lucky with caution periods, or the pit crew kept me in it, too. My guys had third-fastest pitstop average throughout the year, which was a huge step up from 2019, when we were something like 24th fastest on pitstops! So we definitely took advantage of other people’s mistakes.”

Herta added that the #26 will be of particular significance to him as he ran it in his formative years in karting as a nod to his father, Bryan Herta.

“Right around when I started in karting was when Dad was wrapping up in IndyCar, and he switched to the LMP2 car which carried #26.

“I’m really excited for this new partnership with Gainbridge. They’ve been a huge supporter of Andretti Autosport and IndyCar as a whole. The livery is wonderful to look at and will pop at every track we go to. I can’t wait to see that livery at the front of the field,” said Herta.

shares
comments

Related video

Legendary IMS historian Davidson to retire at year’s end
Previous article

Legendary IMS historian Davidson to retire at year’s end

Next article

Montoya joins Arrow McLaren SP for Indianapolis 500

Montoya joins Arrow McLaren SP for Indianapolis 500
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021