ST. Peterburg, Florida. – Colton Herta followed the sound of his father’s voice through the main streets of St. Louis. Petersburg to Victory Lane and alongside him in the IndyCar victory column.

Gerta won his fourth IndyCar race on Sunday, matching his father Brian’s 12-year winning streak. His son needed just 34 races to win all four of his races, and in his third full season in IndyCar, Colton Herta is already a title contender.

Herta started from pole and drove a record 97 laps out of 100 to win his first race with Brian Herta as race strategist. This year is Andretti Autosport’s first time working with the Hertas, abandoning previous father-son combinations that didn’t work in IndyCar.

Growing up, I was very arrogant and didn’t want to hear what my father had to say, says Colton Herta. And then I realized… Big and fast cars… I learned more about the sport and said: Hey, he really knows what he’s talking about.

Colton Herta started on pole and drove a record 97 of 100 laps to win his first race with his father as race strategist. Jackets Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This one will work, says Michael Andretti, because Colton Herta is so calm and controlled, and Brian Herta was a radio master for Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti. When two cautions led to two late restarts with Colton Hurt having to hold off Joseph Newgarden, Brian Hurt was asked if the father or son was more nervous about the outcome of the race.

None of us, Brian Herta said.

Dad knew this better than anyone.

The win was the first away game for his son, who asked his father for permission to have a holiday burn. It was a no-brainer, but his father also reminded his son of your fans during the victory lap on the radio.

I won today too, and I love having that on my radio, Colton Herta said.

He was exhausted after running the 14-lap, 1.8-mile time trial along Tampa Bay on a humid day. He had blisters on both his hands, and after he got out of the car, he said he was out of breath several times.

But he knew immediately that he had joined his father in the profit column, and his father, who was a spokesman, confirmed that the boy was serious.

When he went to IndyCar, people asked me if he was better than me, Brian Herta said. You don’t ask me about it anymore.

Newgarden finished second and his third win in a row in St. Louis. Petersburg eluded him. He was followed by his Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud.

In last week’s race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, Newgarden made an unusual mistake on the first lap that also affected Hurt. He knocked them both out of the race, but Gerta got out of his car and calmly explained that he would be fighting in St. Louis this week. Pete! Pete!

He has shown that confidence and maturity since his rookie season in 2018, when he became the youngest winner in IndyCar history for the second time in his career at age 18. He turned 21 last month and now gets to drink champagne on stage for the first time in his career.

The win is a boost for Andretti Autosport, which struggled in 2020 and didn’t get its only win of the season until the eleventh round – from Herta. Recovered event. But Michael Andretti says the team has improved and both Herta and Rossi are title contenders, although it is Herta who has taken the lead.

Rossi finished 21st and was involved in an incident with Graham Rahal, with the two drivers colliding as they fought for position. Alex Palou, last week’s winner, finished 17th.

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd out of 24 cars in the second IndyCar race. He made two observations.

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