Herta car flips in crash during final Indy 500 prep

Jessica Thompson

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 buildup 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 Herta will need a backup for Sunday’s race. He 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 driver from California 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, who is his race strategist, immediately went to the Andretti garage to oversee preparations on the backup car.

“Thankful for a lot of things,” Colton 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 after contact with Santino Ferrucci. Malukas, 20, is the youngest driver in the field. Ferrucci was penalized for avoidable contact.

Tony Kanaan and Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing led the day’s practice. Scott Dixon, the pole sitter, was third fastest and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was seventh as Ganassi had four cars in the top seven. Alex Palou, the reigning IndyCar champion, was 14th and the slowest of the Ganassi group.

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