Three-time NTT IndyCar Series race winner Colton Herta will need to look for a new number on pit lane next season as the Californian switches from his familiar No. 88 Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Honda to the No. 26 Andretti entry sponsored by Gainbridge.
The deal comes as part of a new multi-year agreement between both companies that began in 2017 and featured former Andretti driver Zach Veach for the majority of those three seasons. Coming off a year where he finished third overall in the championship standings, Herta brings renewed energy and optimism for Gainbridge to make its first of many visits to victory lane.
“It’s awesome for me to see how much Gainbridge has put into IndyCar racing with the ads on TV, sponsoring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and obviously being able to carry the Gainbridge colors is going to be super awesome,” Herta told RACER. “I love working and talking with (Gainbridge CEO) Dan Towriss, who is very smart and runs a very reputable company.”
With his move to the No. 26, Herta’s former No. 88 entry will have a new driver named at a later date by Michael Andretti, Mike Harding, and George Steinbrenner IV.
“I’m obviously very thankful to everyone that’s helped me in my previous two IndyCar seasons with Mike Harding and the Steinbrenner family, who have helped me throughout my racing career,” Herta said. “To be honest, I wouldn’t be in IndyCar without them, and wouldn’t have had the funding to get through Indy Lights. So, I’m very thankful for them to put me in this position to be moving forward with Andretti and Dan Towriss and Gainbridge is very exciting for me.
“And I need to say thank you for my previous sponsors (on the No. 88) in Capstone and Gleaners, who also made sure my career continued because of their support. So now, with the full backing now from Gainbridge and having their full sponsorship on the car every weekend, it’s going to be awesome.”
Some of the key personnel who led Herta to wins in the No. 88 will also make the leap to the No. 26 Honda. Beyond the change of entrants, Herta will be introduced to a new and familiar number that carries family significance.
“Being back in the 26 is a bonus,” he said. “Because 26 was always my karting number when I got started, and it was my dad’s number when he was driving the Andretti Green Racing Acura LMP2 car. So, it’s going to be awesome to be back in that, and to do it representing a company that’s so big and so prolific.”