Bryan Herta: ‘Time doesn’t stand still’ after Rossi’s Indy 500 win


FORT WORTH – It’s been two weeks since Alexander Rossi’s life changed.

Winning the 100th Indianapolis 500 as a rookie can do that.  In those two weeks, the 24-year-old driver embarked a week-long media blitz across the country from Indy to New York City, Dallas and then to Michigan.

After two grueling races at Belle Isle, Rossi left fifth in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.

Then it was back to Texas for yet another race, Rossi’s first on what he calls his favorite of the three ovals he’s driven on so far. There’ll be more interviews, cameras and face time for the kid from California who hadn’t wiggled into an IndyCar before March.

Bryan Herta, Rossi’s co-owner and driver coach, is in awe of how Rossi has handled the spotlight cast on him.

“I don’t know how you prepare for that,” Herta said Friday at TMS. “I continue to be impressed by how Alexander has risen to the challenge. He fully understands that winning the Indianapolis 500 is a tremendous accomplishment, it’s also a tremendous responsibility. He’s a 500 champion now and he’s a representative of the series and the sport, of that race. I love that he gets it.”

Herta first broke into open-wheel racing in the Indy Lights Series in 1992 at the age of 22. His first start in CART and the Indianapolis 500 came two years later. Now at 46, Herta believes he wouldn’t have been ready for the scrutiny Rossi’s been under.

“He is so much more prepared, professional than I was when I came into it,” Herta said. “I think that’s because the junior series, all the experience that he’s had, they prepare these guys so much more throughly than when I (raced). When I came into IndyCar, no one expected anything for the first year or two. You’re just trying to figure it out.”

Herta didn’t win his first CART race until 1998, his fourth full-time and fifth overall season in the series. After five races in Formula One in 2015, Rossi’s first IndyCar win came in just his sixth start.

“Now, these guys are so much better prepared, they’re expected to make an impact right away and start delivering.”

Herta, who joined forces with Andretti Autosport this year, has also been busy “catching up” since the Indy 500. That’s involved preparing for the Detroit and Texas races and also dealing with the positive results of Rossi delivering early. Prior to Rossi’s win, the No. 98 Honda didn’t have sponsorship secured for Saturday’s Firestone 600.

Rossi paint schemeEarly Friday morning, Andretti Herta Autosport revealed a new Castrol Edge paint scheme for Saturday’s Firestone 600, a direct result of the excitement surrounding Rossi’s win.

But as Herta says, “time doesn’t stand still” for the winner of the Indianapolis 500.

“We have to keep marching,” Herta said. “We’re fifth in the championship. Try to savor a little bit, but really, very quickly, your focus turns to, ‘okay, now what?'”

The remaining eight races of the season give Andretti-Herta Autosport eight chances to come up with the best possible answer.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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