Photo: Colton Herta celebrates his win at Mid Ohio. Indycar, Chris Owens
Colton Herta hopes to convert the momentum gained from his race 2 victory at Mid Ohio into at least one win this weekend in the Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A sweep would help him in his bid to overtake Josef Newgarden for second place in the point standings. Herta trails points leader Scott Dixon by 118 points. Newgarden trails by 72 points.
“I mean, I think if you’re not going for the championship, you’re kind of mindset is to win races. That’s really the mindset. Obviously don’t overextend it and throw a good result away. I have a little bit to lose.Obviously we need to do well. If we really do want to get second place in the championship, we need to win another race. I think we do need a little bit of help from Josef on this weekend., ” Herta told media this morning.
For the races this weekend, in cooler temperatures than Indycar normally encounters at IMS, Herta is unsure what to expect.
“I’m not really sure what it will do for the racing. I think there’s a possibility that guys will try different downforce options if it’s that much cooler. This is a place you can sometimes get away with trimming if it’s a little bit cooler because how long the straights are, no major high-speed corners. It might be interesting in the race tosee what people go for with downforce options that might open up the passing a little bit.”
Herta has been impressed with the rookies this year. Although this is his second year in the series, he is already looking over his shoulder. He commented on the rookies.
“…it just seems like the series is getting tougher and tougher. Another really good crop of rookies. Definitely makes you work harder. You know there’s a lot of guys coming in that are really fast and can take your seat. Yeah, definitely makes you work really hard.”
Herta would like to see IMS change the track configuration for Race 2.
“I think I would love to maybe see — I think you could do it each day, do a different track each day where you can have the turn one like the Formula 1 cars used to use, I think that might make overtaking a little bit better. The other day you can do the normal track. You can practice on the normal track, run it Sunday, shouldn’t be a huge adjustment to run the track Sunday.”
He likes the shortened format that has been used on the short ovals this year, but still thinks road courses should stay with the full weekend program.
Herta is happy that he got a victory this season. It will help him approach the final three races a bit more relaxed.
“I think just a bit of relief that we got the win in this year. I think it’s important for me to win at least once a year. I think for a lot of guys, they feel the same way. It was nice to get that win done, kind of take it off my shoulders, kind of push forward.”
Practice for the Harvest Grand Prix negins Thursday at 2;25 PM Eastern time.