Colton Herta qualified fifth for today’s NTT IndyCar Series race at Road America, but with an unapproved engine change penalty looming from the Indy 500, his No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda has been assessed a six-position penalty that will see the Californian roll off the grid in 11th.
Per IndyCar, Herta’s entry ran afoul of Rule 16.5.4, which states, “Once an Indianapolis 500 Engine is fitted to the Car, removal of the Engine prior to the Indianapolis 500 Race is an Unapproved Engine Change-Out, unless it is for Repair.”
With his crash on Carb Day and the need to go to a spare engine for the race, Honda had three weeks to attempt to repair the engine — without performing a complete rebuild — but was unable to do so. The timing of the penalty coming at Road America, rather than Detroit, the race immediately following the Indy 500, is due to the three-week grace period given to manufacturers to try and return the damaged motor back into service.
With Honda Performance Development informing IndyCar this week of its inability to fix the damaged 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 without conducting a complete overhaul of the unit, Herta’s penalty was assessed.