Colton Herta won the Wild GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Starting from 14th place Car 26 Colton Herta, Honda, won the Wild GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for his 7th NTT IndyCar Series Win. This was his 1st win & 1st Top 3 of 2022. 2nd Place Car 60 Simon Pagenaud, Honda, started from 20th place. 3rd Place Car 12 Will Power, Chevrolet, started from pole.

4th Place Car 8 Marcus Ericsson, Honda, started from 18th place followed by 5th place Car 20 Conor Daly, Chevrolet, started from 4th place. 6th Place Car 7 Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, started from 6th place followed by 7th Place Car 51 Takuma Sato, Honda, started from 13th place. 8th Place Car 77 Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, started from 7th place followed by 9th place Car 30 Christian Lundgaard, Honda, started from 8th place. Lastly in the Top 10 was Car 9 Scott Dixon, Honda, in 10th place, started from 21st place. Canadian Car 29 Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda finished in 21st place. Canadian Car 4 Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet finished in 27th place.

The race had 8 Cautions for 31 laps: 1st Caution on lap 6 for Spin: Car 10 in Turn 10. 2nd Caution on lap 17 for Contact: Cars 2, 27, and 45 in Turn 12. 3rd Caution on lap 21 for Contact: Cars 21 and 29 in Turn 1. 4th Caution on lap 36 for Contact: Car 4 in Turn 6. 5th Caution on lap 42 for Off course: Cars 5, 7 and 51 in Turn 1. 6th Caution on lap 57 for Spin: Car 48 in Turn 10. 7th Caution on lap 67 for Spin: Car 3 in Turn 3. 8th Caution on lap 74 for Contact: Car 6 at Turn 12.

The race had 10 Lead changes among 6 drivers. Lap Leaders: O’Ward, Pato 1 – 2, Rosenqvist, Felix 3 – 4, Herta, Colton 5 – 31, O’Ward, Pato 32, Rosenqvist, Felix 33 – 34, Calderon, Tatiana 35, Ericsson, Marcus 36 – 45, Herta, Colton 46 – 59, McLaughlin, Scott 60 – 64, O’Ward, Pato 65 – 66, Herta, Colton 67 – 75.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Point Standings: Power 170, Palou 156, McLaughlin 152, Newgarden 140, Dixon 133, Herta 132, O’Ward 126, Ericsson 117, Grosjean 114, VeeKay 113.

Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR 0K3A6661.JPG


Herta Controls Chaos To Win Wild, Treacherous GMR Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 14, 2022) – Colton Herta won one of the wildest races in recent NTT INDYCAR SERIES history, controlling the chaos of changing weather conditions, ever-evolving tire strategies and numerous incidents to take the checkered flag for the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Herta, from Valencia, California, earned his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory of the season and his seventh career win in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda after starting 14th. The win was the first of the season for a Honda-powered driver.

The race, originally scheduled for 85 laps but slowed by numerous incidents and the arrival of rain near the midway point, reached its two-hour time limit during a caution period.

“This is the hardest race I think I’ve ever done,” Herta said. “Wet to dry, dry back to wet. Thank you so much for the Hoosiers for sticking around. I know you’re used to this weather, so thank you very much. Love you guys.”

Simon Pagenaud climbed from the 20th starting position to finish a season-best second in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda. NTT P1 Award winner Will Power placed third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, tying his season best and climbing into the series points lead.

Marcus Ericsson drove from 18th at the start to end up fourth in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with Indianapolis native Conor Daly finishing a season-best fifth in the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet.

“I’ve never been in a race like that in my life,” Daly said. “That was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced.”

The box score indicated there were 10 lead changes among six drivers and eight caution periods for 31 laps, but that doesn’t begin to describe what unfolded on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. This was a test of speed, strategy and survival that will live in the memory for a long time.

Rain sprinkles caused the race start to be declared wet, with all drivers on Firestone grooved tires. But it took Herta and Takuma Sato only two laps to realize there was enough traction to switch to the slick, grippy Firestone alternate “red” tires. The rest of the field quickly followed suit, with all 27 drivers changing to alternate slicks by Lap 5.

For the next 30 laps, this appeared to be a highly competitive but conventional NTT INDYCAR SERIES road course race, with three incidents triggering caution periods and mixing up the running order. But the strategic mind games began when Dalton Kellett spun off course in Turn 6 on Lap 36 in the No. 4 K-LINE/AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet.

Leaden, threatening clouds approached IMS from the west, with the airwaves between pit boxes and drivers crackling with strategic chatter.

Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco, Alexander Rossi and reigning series champion Alex Palou decided to pit for Firestone rain tires during that caution as light rain began to fall to varying degrees in different locations of the massive facility, with a handful of others following suit to switch to rain tires during another caution that started on Lap 42.

This dice roll came up snake eyes because the rain began to let up on Lap 45, when Herta passed Ericsson for the lead in Turn 4.

By Lap 52, the rain began to fall again at varying levels around the track, creating more head games for teams and drivers. During a caution period on Lap 60 with intermittent rain falling, all the contending cars came to the pits for Firestone alternate slick tires.

Two laps later, those plans became a soggy mess when hard rain began to fall. All the contenders tiptoed back to the pits for Firestone rain tires except for Pato O’Ward, Scott McLaughlin and Romain Grosjean, who stayed out on alternate slicks.

The race restarted at the end of Lap 66, and Herta – on rain tires – easily devoured the slick-shod O’Ward to take the lead for good with an inside pass into Turn 1 after the field took the green.

Later that lap, the daring strategy of staying on slicks unraveled for McLaughlin. Struggling for grip, he spun in his No. 3 Snap-on Tools Chevrolet. O’Ward also spun out of second place on Lap 69 in his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP.

Herta gradually pulled away from Pagenaud over the closing laps, as teams kept their eyes on the race clock and the skies. Herta led Pagenaud by 3.8256 seconds on Lap 72, and the race effectively ended when Juan Pablo Montoya went off course after making contact with the wall in his No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

“It was treacherous at the end,” Pagenaud said. “You’ve got to say congrats to Colton because it was really tough to finish the race. We made the right calls on the tires. It was tricky. It was really tricky to decide.”

GMR Grand Prix Race Results

INDIANAPOLIS – Results Saturday of the GMR Grand Prix NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, car #, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

  1. (14) Car 26 Colton Herta, Honda, 75, Running
  2. (20) Car 60 Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 75, Running
  3. (1) Car 12 Will Power, Chevrolet, 75, Running
  4. (18) Car 8 Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 75, Running
  5. (4) Car 20 Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 75, Running
  6. (6) Car 7 Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 75, Running
  7. (13) Car 51 Takuma Sato, Honda, 75, Running
  8. (7) Car 77 Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 75, Running
  9. (8) Car 30 Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 75, Running
  10. (21) Car 9 Scott Dixon, Honda, 75, Running
  11. (16) Car 27 Alexander Rossi, Honda, 75, Running
  12. (24) Car 18 David Malukas, Honda, 75, Running
  13. (9) Car 45 Jack Harvey, Honda, 75, Running
  14. (19) Car 06 Helio Castroneves, Honda, 75, Running
  15. (25) Car 11 Tatiana Calderon, Chevrolet, 75, Running
  16. (12) Car 15 Graham Rahal, Honda, 75, Running
  17. (10) Car 28 Romain Grosjean, Honda, 74, Running
  18. (2) Car 10 Alex Palou, Honda, 74, Running
  19. (5) Car 5 Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 74, Running
  20. (11) Car 3 Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 74, Running
  21. (17) Car 29 Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 73, Running – Canadian
  22. (27) Car 48 Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 73, Running
  23. (15) Car 21 Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 73, Running
  24. (23) Car 6 Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 72, Contact
  25. (3) Car 2 Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 60, Running
  26. (22) Car 14 Kyle Kirkwood, Chevrolet, 53, Contact
  27. (26) Car 4 Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 34, Contact – Canadian

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 90.008 mph
Time of Race: 02:01:56.3273
Margin of victory: Under caution
Cautions: 8 for 31
Lead changes: 10 among 6 drivers


Photos & Graphics Courtesy of INDYCAR

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