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Herta receives grid penalty for second Iowa IndyCar race

Colton Herta will take a nine-place hit for the start of today’s second Iowa race as his car has received a new engine overnight.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

The #26 Andretti Autosport with Curb Agajanian entry has been out of sync with planned engine changes ever since his airborne crash during Carb Day. The team had hoped that Honda unit was salvageable but such proved not to be the case so an early engine change grid penalty was inevitable at some point in the season.

This morning, IndyCar officials confirmed a nine-position starting grid penalty for an unapproved engine change for Herta’s car.

The team was in violation of Rule 16.2.3.2: “A fifth Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four Engines. Otherwise, a fifth or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out.”

This incurs a six-position starting grid penalty on road and street course events and nine positions at oval events, and is served at the series’ next event – in this case, today’s Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google.

Herta’s qualifying run on Saturday morning was a slightly bizarre one, in that his first lap was good enough for only 17th on the grid for yesterday’s Hy-VeeDeals.com 250, but his second lap would have put him third on the grid, beaten only by the Team Penske-Chevrolets of Will Power and Josef Newgarden.

Despite his poor grid slot, Herta was able to take advantage of an early caution period for Jimmie Johnson’s spin to pit and go off strategy, using his fresh tires to climb to third until a transmission issue on pitlane dropped him out of contention. He would eventually finish eight laps down.

Given that today’s grid penalty drops him ‘only’ to 12th, there will be legitimate hopes that Herta has the pace to make good forward progress, and manage the tires while remaining on the leaders’ pit strategy.

Although Herta has seven IndyCar wins to his name, he is still seeking his first podium finish in an oval race. So far his best result on ovals has been a fourth place at Gateway’s World Wide Technology Raceway two years ago.

Revised starting line-up:

P Driver Car Speed
1 Will Power Team Penske-Chevrolet 178.013mph
2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske-Chevrolet 177.904mph
3 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet 177.287mph
4 Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR-Honda 177.278mph
5 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske-Chevrolet 177.273mph
6 Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda 176.894mph
7 Pato O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet 176.627mph
8 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet 176.625mph
9 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet 176.385mph
10 Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport-Honda 176.302mph
11 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 176.122mph
12 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport-Honda 177.525mph
13 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 175.812mph
14 David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR-Honda 175.392mph
15 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 175.101mph
16 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Racing-Honda 174.468mph
17 Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda 174.444mph
18 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 174.426mph
19 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet 174.214mph
20 Kyle Kirkwood AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 173.863mph
21 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport-Honda 173.757mph
22 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet 173.696mph
23 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda 173.613mph
24 Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing-Honda 173.143mph
25 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport-Honda 173.000mph
26 Dalton Kellett AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 172.616mph

 

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