Colton Herta burst on to the NTT IndyCar Series with a win in his first full year of competition at the tender age of 18. Now a veteran of five (full-time) years in the series, his speed and racecraft continue to improve. We caught up with him at the “100 Days to Indy” premiere just prior to the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach where he talks about his season so far, how the Long Beach track might evolve based on temperature, and his thoughts heading into Indianapolis. He also proved to be a great prognosticator when it comes to talking about his teammate Kyle Kirkwood (who went on to win the race and Herta finished just off the podium in fourth). Enjoy!

NOTE: In Part Two next week, we sit down with Herta at the media luncheon the next day and he talks to us about his Formula One test in the off-season.

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2024 Larry Mason

Colton Herta waves to the fans just prior to the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Herta knows how to hustle his car around the streets of Long Beach having won here in 2021 and destroying the track record in 2022. Here he’s shown in Turn 9 in 2023.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt (or a dolphin), Herta feels comfortable at his home track of Long Beach with his Acura (Honda) and King Taco sponsors in the background.

It was almost a Sunday drive in the park for Herta on race day as he finished just off the podium in fourth place.

Late in the 2023 race, Herta is shown here leading Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson. These positions would swap a bit later with Ericsson finishing just in front of Herta to take the last step on the podium in third place. Ericsson would also swap teams in the off-season and will join Herta at Andretti for 2024.

Interview and photos Copyright © by Larry Mason