INDIANAPOLIS — Colton Herta rolled his Indianapolis 500 car end-over-end during Friday’s final practice. The star driver for Andretti Autosport was uninjured in the most significant crash in the build up to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
“I think I was going a little too fast for that corner,” Herta said.
The crash with 25 minutes remaining on “Carb Day” destroyed the Andretti Honda and he will need a backup for Sunday’s race. Herta had also blown an engine in qualifying and will start 25th in whatever car Andretti can get ready for race day.
“A little sad for that race car,” Herta said when asked how he felt after exiting the infield care center.
The 22-year-old Californian was speaking on his team radio as his car was still rolling. When it came to a stop, his father, Bryan, radioed for Herta to stay put and strapped in until emergency crews could free him from the car.
His father is his race strategist and immediately went to the Andretti garage to oversee preparations on the backup car.
“Thankful for a lot of things,” Herta said. “I guess the aeroscreen is part of that. More so the safety crew and I guess just the durability of the side pods on the side structure of the cars. That was a big hit from the side. Yeah, the safety crews were there very fast flipping me back over.”
Earlier in practice, David Malukas crashed following contact with Santino Ferrucci. Malukus, at 20 years old, is the youngest driver in the field; Ferrucci was penalized for avoidable contact.
Tony Kanaan and Marcus Ericsson led practice for Chip Ganassi Racing. Scott Dixon, the pole sitter, was third-fastest and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was seventh as Ganassi had four of his cars in the top seven. Alex Palou, the reigning IndyCar champion, was 14th and slowest of the Ganassi group.