Bryan Herta claimed two wins and three poles at Laguna Seca during his career, and second-generation racer Colton Herta added a new chapter to the family’s history at the storied northern Californian venue by claiming pole for tomorrow’s IndyCar season finale.
“It obviously means a lot with the family history, and 50 percent of [dad Bryan’s] IndyCar wins coming from here,” Herta said.
“It means a lot to kind of keep on the family tradition. Honestly, going into practice 3, I thought maybe we lacked a little bit, and we didn’t have quite as big of a gap. We were P7, and we needed to find a little bit of time, so I was going to be happy to make it into the Fast Six. That would be an improvement. But we got there and we led every group that we were in, so I knew that if we dialed a lap in and we put it together, we could be on pole.”
Herta’s third career pole came on the same afternoon that Andretti Autosport confirmed that he, along with the framework of the current Harding Steinbrenner operation, will be absorbed as a fifth Andretti entry next season. Future team-mate and current championship contender Alexander Rossi will line up directly behind him on the grid tomorrow, raising the possibility that he might find himself positioned as the hurdle that stands between Rossi and the Astor Cup.
That prospect raised the inevitable question of whether he’d move over if that situation were to arise, and Herta admitted that it won’t be an easy decision to make.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m sure I’m going to get talked to tonight about something of that nature. I’m hoping I’m not in the position. Honestly it depends where I’m at in the race, for sure. If I’m leading, it’s going to be really hard to say yes and help him out. It’s got to be some incentives there, know what I mean?
“I mean, I would love [that] if I let Rossi by, I would love half the championship money, that would be great. What do you get, a million dollars? That would be awesome. Move out of my parents’ house.”