By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
A brand new number and a brand new colors for Colton Herta became Tuesday morning’s headline as he’ll be moving to the No. 26 Andretti Autosport entry in 2021 with Gainbridge as his primary sponsor.
Following a season that can be best described as forgettable for the race team, Herta was the gem of the squad with a triumphant win at Mid-Ohio Race No. 2 and subsequent third-place points finish.
A strong 2020 campaign was something Michael Andretti couldn’t ignore and by putting Herta in the No. 26 Honda, time will tell how much stronger he’ll be going forward.
“We’re really excited to welcome back Gainbridge and look forward to seeing what Colton can do in 2021,” said Michael Andretti. “Colton’s career has been on a steady rise. We’re confident that he will continue to grow and advance, and we’ll see the No. 26 in victory lane soon.”
While Herta’s move from the Harding Steinbrenner No. 88 Honda comes to the surprise of some, it gives the 20-year-old an opportunity showing his raw talent on the main Andretti camp as he takes over the car that was driven by both Zach Veach and James Hinchcliffe this past season.
“I’m really excited for this new partnership with Gainbridge, they’ve been a huge supporter of Andretti Autosport and INDYCAR as a whole,” said Herta. “The livery is wonderful to look at and will pop at every track we go to; I can’t wait to see that Gainbridge livery at the front of the field.”
The last time the No. 26 team won an IndyCar race was Takuma Sato’s first Indy 500 victory in 2017. Since then, the car hasn’t finished better than fourth three times with the most recent being Veach at Texas in June.
Challenge it may be to some people, others like President and CEO of Group1001 and Gainbridge Dan Towriss, see the excitement value of having the three-time IndyCar winner onboard to represent his brands.
“Colton has quickly shown in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES that talent and drive produce winning results. Gainbridge is proud to align with Colton and Andretti Autosport to represent our brand and values,” said Towriss. “Winning demands consistency and the confidence and consistency demonstrated by Colton makes him a great fit to represent Group1001 and Gainbridge. Additionally, we look forward to remaining part of the Andretti Autosport family where we can accelerate the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda program.”
No information regarding the No. 88 entry was announced at this time.