Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Herta Laments ‘Stupid Mistake’ as Crash Ends Hopes of Repeat Victory at Long Beach

Colton Herta at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
It was an early end of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach for Colton Herta, who crashed out on Lap 55. Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

Colton Herta was left fuming over a self-inflicted error that brought an abrupt and early end to his run in Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The 22-year-old Californian came in as the event’s defending race winner and appeared poised for an encore performance after a strong weekend that included capturing the pole.

He started off Sunday’s contest by leading the opening 28 of 85 laps. Although he was jumped by reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou and Josef Newgarden, Herta remained comfortably in the fight.

However, it all came undone when pacing for a strong in-lap on Lap 55, when Herta found the bump under braking entering Turn 9. The momentum carried his No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda hard into the outside wall, with the damage severe enough that Herta couldn’t return to the pits for repairs and was left parking the car off course just mere yards away from the incident.

The end result left Herta with a 23rd-place finish. After three races to start the 2022 season, he sits 11th in the championship standings (59 points behind leader Newgarden).

“I just broke a little bit too late,” Herta said. “Got in there, locked the right front and that’s it.”

He went on to later add, “Yeah, I mean, it’s just a stupid mistake. Like, we were definitely in that thing. You know, we were running good there in third and keeping up with Alex and Josef, so it’s unfortunate. I feel really bad.”

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