With two victories, Herta stands tied for second in the title chase, 42 points behind leader Kyle Kaiser, with two races remaining. He leads the series in the number of pole positions earned (six) and is third with total podiums (five).
Herta is proud of the way the team has come back from difficulties they encountered through the season, and of the relationship he has developed with teammates Dalton Kellett, Nico Jamin and Ryan Norman.
“It’s been tough but we always bounced back. We only had half of qualifying session one at Road America because we had a mechanical issue but in qualifying two we finished on the pole. I’d never been to Road America before but we learned quickly and got up to speed quickly, so that was the most clutch moment of the year for us,” Herta said. “The team has great resources as well, being an IndyCar team. It’s an Indy Lights team with an IndyCar approach. And I’ve had a ton of fun and help this year from my teammates. I was lucky enough to have three experienced drivers as teammates, this helped the development of the car and it helped me as well because we always had good data to look at.”
Herta appreciates the resources that come with the Andretti umbrella. Not only does he have Michael and Mario Andretti available for advice and counsel, he has team principal Steinbrenner, whose family businesses include a successful thoroughbred horse racing farm and stable and, oh yes, those legendary New York Yankees.
But when it comes to advice, Herta knows he has one of the best in his corner. With maturity has come the increasing appreciation for what his dad Bryan and mom Janette have done to help him get to this point.
“They’ve been so supportive my whole career, giving up a lot of stuff to be there for me. I’m very thankful. But this year, they’ve stepped back a bit. The team handles most of my stuff, and I’m old enough now to take care of myself,” he said. “I’m responsible enough now to know what I need to do. But my dad knows what’s going on so if he sees anything that needs to be fixed, or that I’m doing wrong, he’ll comment on it. But when I go home, it’s back to normal child life.”
Flights. Racetracks. Homework. Such is the life of a young race car driver who is trying to balance it all. For Herta, the light at the end of the tunnel is quickly approaching, as he gets ready to complete high school and turn his complete focus to his racing future.
“It’s tough, especially with training twice a day. I do my school online and I try to do as much as I can before the race weekend so I don’t have to worry about school work when I’m there,” Herta commented. “I’m looking forward to getting my GED and graduating from high school.”
CREDIT: Andersen Promotions