No. 984
February 20, 2018

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FEBRUARY 13, 2019

(Photo by John Cote/INDYCAR)
Colton Herta (
No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda Turbo V6) wasted no time making his presence felt in the NTT IndyCar Series. The rookie was quickest in both on-track sessions on the opening day of INDYCAR Spring Training at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. Herta turned in the fastest lap on Tuesday in the official series open test on the 3.41-mile permanent road course. The 18-year-old son of retired Indy car driver Bryan Herta, who's now an NTT IndyCar Series team co-owner, clocked a 1 minute, 46.6258 seconds (115.132 mph) lap. "I'm super happy with how the day went," said Colton Herta, the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires runner-up who made his NTT IndyCar Series debut in last September's season finale at Sonoma Raceway and is slated to run the full season this year. "We did some great things to the car and I'm very happy with how the boys got everything together in time for this test," he added. "Everyone did a fantastic job and there were no issues with the car; it was perfect. We kept chipping away and kept finding time. By the end of the day, we were quickest by quite a margin. I can't wait for tomorrow now." A total of 1,034 laps were turned by the drivers on Tuesday. Following Herta on the combined time sheet were Will Power (No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6) and Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Team Penske Pennzoil Chevrolet Turbo V6). Power ran a lap of 1:47.1044 (114.617 mph) and Castroneves was clocked at 1:47.6949 (113.989 mph). Chip Ganassi Racing teammates came in next on the speed chart, with rookie Felix Rosenqvist fourth at 1:48.0451 (113.619 mph) in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda Turbo V6. And Scott Dixon, the reigning and five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, was fifth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda Turbo V6 (1:48.0474, 113.617 mph). At the completion of a second day of testing on Wednesday, Herta retained his fastest lap status, followed by Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, WIll Power and Simon Pagenaud running close behind. The NTT IndyCar Series will return to COTA from March 22-24 for its first race on the natural-terrain road course.

(Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
If it's Daytona in February it's a crash-fest, and thus it was ever so. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Ally Chevrolet) won the season-opening Advance Auto Parts Clash race at Daytona International Speedway after starting a wreck that eliminated nearly everyone else. Moments before a rainstorm halted the action and ultimately made the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race official after 59 of 75 scheduled laps, Johnson—running second on Lap 56—pulled to the inside of leader Paul Menard (No. 21 Wood Brothers Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford), who moved down the track slightly as Johnson was attempting a close side-draft. The two cars came together in Turn 3, and it sent Menard spinning and caused a massive pileup behind him, damaging 17 of the 20 cars. Johnson took the lead and was declared the winner after NASCAR red-flagged the race because of rain for the third time. Kurt Busch (No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet), who was following Johnson on the backstretch, dodged the wrecking and finished second. Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Shell Penzoil Ford) and Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Team Penske Menards/Peak Ford) were third and fourth, with Alex Bowman (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Nationwide Chevrolet) completing the top five. Bowman also won the pole for the Daytona 500.
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