Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta has made a habit of defying all expectations held for a rookie NTT IndyCar Series driver.
Ending his first day fifth overall, fastest among the 18 Honda-powered drivers, and second on the no-tow chart for Hondas during the opening practice session for the Indy 500, might seem like something to celebrate. But that’s not how the 19-year-old is wired.
“We were the second Honda, so it wasn’t terrible,” Herta told RACER after closing Tuesday with a best of 228.284 mph. “I don’t really care about the overall times. It doesn’t really matter to me. But as long as we were quick in the no-tow times, and I’m pretty happy with the race car, that’s what matters.”
Like many others, Herta’s plan for the day centered on running with other cars in search of handling and aerodynamic improvements that would help on race day.
“Working on the race set-up, we found maybe one or two things,” he said. “It was a day of making changes: ‘Did that do anything?’ ‘No.’ ‘Did that do anything?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you feel that?’ ‘No.’
“A bit of a busy day, but a fast day.”