IndyCar: Colton Herta Recovers, Takes Pole At Road America

Colton Herta - Chris Jones/Penske Entertainment

After today’s practice session troubles for Colton Herta, this has to be bittersweet following two spins and a red flag today.

After two spins and a red flag during today’s second practice session, Colton Herta was able to regain his composure and grab pole for Sunday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America.

Herta, with a quick lap of 1:40.1945 captured his 10th career pole and his first since Toronto in July 2022.

“We’ve been working at it the whole time,” Herta said. “This place with the repave is not easy. To have a car that was stable enough to really attack in that last Fast Six was impressive. It’s been way too long this year for us to get a pole, so it’s nice to finally get one.”

When asked during the post qualifying press conference about grabbing the pole, Herta responded, “First off, it’s good to be back in here. I forgot what a media center looked like, I’ve been qualifying so poorly.”

“Yeah, it feels nice to be back, kind of on form. Our qualifying’s have been kind of lackluster the last few weekends. Luckily we put it all together today and ended up on the pole.”

“Super happy. The car was great. Happy.”

Joining Herta on the front row is Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward in his No. 5 Chevrolet who was just .16 seconds behind Herta with a lap of 1:40.3643.

During the post qualifying press conference, O’Ward was asked about expectations for tomorrow and O’Ward answered “I don’t know, man. I think obviously the following will be different to what it’s been in the last few years just because offline, the balance, the car just turns upside down if you go offline.”

“I think that’s obviously going to make passing tricky. It will make guys trying to get a bit of cleaner air on at least half of their wing. There is a penalty to pay for that. It doesn’t seem to pay off yet.”

“Yeah, I see it being there’s maybe a lane and a half of, like, very high grip. But you go off of that, and it’s like ice. I think that’s also why there’s just been a lot of excursions. You miss it by just a tad, and it’s like, What happened to the car?”

“To extract the lap time, especially now with the new pavement, like there is so much more grip, but it’s only in the line. You have to commit so much into the corners where a lot of the times it kind of bites once you’re already committed. I think that’s why you see a lot of spins, a lot of guys going off, just a lot of random snaps. It makes you feel like there’s unlimited amounts of grip, but there’s obviously limits to everything.”

Earlier in today’s practice session, two series mainstays collided, causing heavy damage to both their cars. Two-time series and reigning champion Will Power will start 22nd, and six-time series champion Scott Dixon will roll off P23.

Up Next: Warm-Up: Sunday, 10:15 a.m EST on Peacock

Featured Image Credit: Chris Jones/Penske Entertainment