Newgarden sees parallels with Herta's career path to IndyCar sucess

Jamie Klein
Newgarden sees parallels with Herta's junior career
Newgarden sees parallels with Herta's junior career

Josef Newgarden has drawn parallels between his own career and that of IndyCar's youngest-ever race winner Colton Herta, following Herta's Austin triumph.

Herta surpassed Graham Rahal's 11-year-old record by winning the race, which was just his third IndyCar start.

Newgarden, who finished second, said Herta did a "phenomenal job" and explained how Herta had followed in his footsteps by spending a season in the UK back in 2015 (below), driving for Carlin in MSA Formula (now British Formula 4).

In 2009, Newgarden made a similar move, racing in MSA Formula's predecessor British Formula Ford, where he finished as runner-up before switching to Formula 1 support series GP3 in 2010 and then Indy Lights for the following season.

"He's done a very similar thing to what I did," said Newgarden.

"A couple years earlier he went over [to the UK] at 16 or so. I was 17, 18. I went over with a Team USA scholarship, different than what Colton did.

"My first year in the UK was in the British Formula Ford championship. Colton went over to run F4, which is similar to what British Formula Ford [was].

"That UK training ground is really solid. I think those years that Colton spent there was time well spent.

"Then he came back to America, straight to [Indy] Lights, then obviously to IndyCar here. So, it was a pretty good path."

Newgarden sees parallels with Herta's junior career
Newgarden sees parallels with Herta's junior career

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished third at Austin, also praised Herta for his success, but pointed out that his own career path differed to that of the 2018 Indy Lights runner-up.

"Colton did a great job," said Hunter-Reay. "He's been quick ever since he hit the track [at Austin] in the open test. No surprise he was up there [in the race].

"It's another thing to go ahead and seal the deal when you're out front. He did a great job.

"When I was 18, I thought a Barber Dodge Pro Series car was a big deal back then. That was a lot of horsepower. This was the big league.

"[But] he just won an IndyCar race. Pretty amazing stuff. I think that puts it in perspective.

"It takes a lot, especially when you consider Colton went to Europe just to kind of I guess learn on his own, as Josef did.

"Colton spent time over there when he was really young. The kid's growing up fast, for sure."

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