Herta’s fourth lap within the Firestone Quick Six noticed him lap the course a quarter-second quicker than his nearest rival and put the #26 Gainbridge Andretti Autosport-Honda on pole place.
It will likely be his fifth time ranging from P1, however his first along with his father, former Indy automobile race-winner and now co-team proprietor Bryan Herta, as his strategist.
Whereas Colton and the staff bought their heads round the truth that Firestone’s red-sidewalled alternate compound tires took no less than three laps to supply up their greatest grip, the 21-year-old Californian admitted the tire conduct usually had come as a shock.
“I went into this session considering that it was going to be a black [Firestone’s harder primary compound] race, prefer it was final yr,” he stated. “Now I am type of scratching my head as a result of I do know a whole lot of guys may not be capable to make it work, but it surely looks like we is perhaps one of many guys that may be capable to make it work on crimson tires – used reds.
“We’ll have to attend and see. Have a whole lot of knowledge to undergo tonight.
“For me, the grip degree was similar to the brand new reds [even] after they’d a warmth cycle on them, which could be very unusual. Have not actually seen that in my IndyCar profession but.
“In order that’s one thing to have a look at and take into consideration. It’s going to positively make the race extra fascinating if guys are selecting to run these used reds over new blacks.”
Requested to make clear that he discovered comparable grip on used reds as on a contemporary set, Herta replied: “Related, comparable. Clearly traction is just a little bit worse.
“[We did] 60.3sec within the Quick Six [on used reds], whereas on new blacks, the very best time I noticed was a 61.0. Clearly it’s important to have a look at monitor circumstances. The Tremendous Vehicles have been out proper earlier than us. That possibly has one thing to do with it.”
There are some guys on the market that will have a look at utilizing used reds, however I am unsure but. Cannot be certain until I have a look at the info.”
He added: “For positive, after seeing what occurred right now, I am actually going to push the staff to be on these used reds tomorrow in warm-up and attempt to get run in, see whether or not it is a viable technique or not.”
Herta stated he was comfortable to earn the pole in entrance of Dan Towriss, CEO of his title sponsor Gainbridge and described incomes a pole at St. Pete – as his father did again in 2005 – as “actually cool.”
“I feel the primary place that occurred was most likely Laguna Seca [actually, it was Portland]… It looks like we’re good on the identical tracks. He had a pole in Mid-Ohio , I had a pole in Mid-Ohio . He has a pole at Portland , I’ve a pole at Portland . He had a pole right here , I now have a pole right here. Bizarre how that works.
“Yeah, it is cool to type of stick with it the legacy as greatest I can. Extra importantly getting the job performed for myself and my staff. I feel we did simply that right now… Excited clearly for my dad to be on the automobile. That was the primary pole he shared with me. He was tremendous enthusiastic about it.
“Then clearly simply carrying on with this system that we have had this complete two days. Proper from apply we have been actually quick. To cap it off with pole and hopefully with a win tomorrow could be wonderful.”