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IndyCar Road America

Herta takes “disappointing” sixth, left fuming at Newgarden

Andretti Global’s Colton Herta rebounded from an early tag from Josef Newgarden to finish sixth at Road America, but was left fuming at the lack of a penalty for the incident.

Rookie Linus Lundqvist led the field to the green flag and went into Turn 1, but was bumped at the exit of the corner by Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Marcus Armstrong

The contact set off a chain reaction as Herta, who started second but fell in line to fourth, checked up as the two drivers spun but was then hit from behind by the nose of Newgarden’s No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet. Herta was sent into a spin as a result of the contact and fell down the running order to 26th. 

No penalty for Newgarden?

While Armstrong was handed a drive-thru penalty by Race Control for his hit on Lundqvist, Newgarden did not and ended up finishing second. 

“I just got punted by Josef,” Herta said, watching a replay of the incident after the race. 

“I don't understand how it's a penalty for Armstrong right in front of him when he takes out Lundqvist, but I get the same thing done to me right here. It wasn't even close. You see me slow down, he doesn't even attempt to slow down, just dumps me. 

“How that isn't a penalty is beyond me. I don't understand it, but that's the decision they made  and we'll roll with it. It's disappointing.” 

 

Herta has endured a tough run the last few weeks. He crashed while running second in the Indianapolis 500 and failed to convert a pole into a strong result in last weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix despite leading 33 laps, instead making a mistake of overshooting the corner and falling down the running order as a result.

“It's disappointing because this is the third week in a row, whether it was self-inflicted or not, but I thought we should win and we didn't,” Herta said. 

“And the third week in a row where the Gainbridge Honda has been so fast and we have relatively nothing to show for it. I'm not happy with sixth place with the car that we had today with the pace that we had in the car. I don't know what to say. Disappointing.”

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

The incident with Newgarden wasn’t the only issue Herta was forced to claw back from at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course. Moments after pitting from the opening lap incident, the debris - which looked similar to strakes under the body of the car - came out as he went over the curbing in Turn 1. Then shortly after he went for another spin after contact with Lundqvist. 

Despite pitting five times, two more than those that finished ahead of him, Herta was able to press forward with stout pace and even led nine laps through being off-sequence with others. 

While the result gives the California native five top 10 results, including two podiums, in seven points-paying races this season, which has him seventh in the championship standings, there is more frustration in what has been lost instead of continuing to play damage control. 

“I like to get wins instead of saying, ‘Oh, these points might matter this and what not’ because the last three weeks have just been terrible for me, Herta said. 

“I hope to turn it around. I hope to have some sort of luck. This car has been fast. The crew's been good on the stops on the strategy, every single place we've gone so far so to not have a win and to only have a handful of podiums is disappointing in my book.”

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