Harding-Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta became the youngest winner in the history of the IndyCar Series after the 18-year old took an unlikely victory at Circuit of the America’s in Austin, Texas on Sunday.
Herta started fourth on the grid and gained a position on the opening lap of the race, allowing him to sit comfortably and stalk the race leaders, Team Penske’s Will Power and Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi. The first three quarters of the race were run under green flag conditions, with Power clearly looking to be the fastest car on track and Rossi and Herta unable to get close enough to the Australian to attempt for a pass.
The caution flag then came out on Lap 44 after SPM’s James Hinchcliffe got into the back of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, sending the Swede crashing into the armco barrier protecting the pit entrance. The yellow flag was a gift for Herta, who had pit one lap earlier than Power and Rossi and thus didn’t have to enter the pit lane under yellow, giving him track position for the eventual restart. Power’s bad luck turned worse when he couldn’t get his car restarted in the pits, forcing his Team Penske crew to retire the car.
Herta nailed the subsequent restart, successfully defending against Team Penske Chevrolet driver Josef Newgarden, who also had more time left on his ‘Push to Pass’ system than Herta. The 18-year old drove his Honda-powered entry home to take his first-ever IndyCar victory and to become the youngest series winner at 18 years, 11 months, 25 days old. The previous youngest race winner in the series was Graham Rahal, who won at St. Petersburg in 2008 when he was 19 years, 3 months and 2 days old.
Newgarden crossed the finish line second, putting up a good result for Team Penske and Chevy, while Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the podium.
Click here for full results from the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the America’s. The 2019 NTT Data IndyCar Series season will continue when the teams head to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 7th.
Photos via IndyCar/Harding-Steinbrenner/Team Penske