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Colton Herta’s phone ‘stolen’ at Media Day! Here’s what happened next

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The stars of the NTT IndyCar Series are well-known for their talent and bravery behind the wheel, but many also are known for having a great sense of humor.

During IndyCar’s preseason Media Day in Austin, Texas, a few drivers decided to pull a prank on a fellow competitor Monday.

Josef Newgarden, Felix Rosenqvist and Simon Pagenaud decided to “steal” Colton Herta’s phone and leave a few surprises on it for him to find later, which Herta promptly posted on Twitter.

“My phone was stolen but I found it now, here’s a thread on what was left on it @josefnewgarden.”

Attached was a video message that Newgarden recorded on Herta’s phone:

“Colton, why is your phone so broken?” Newgarden asked in the video. “This thing, you can’t even see out of it, it’s so broken.

“Get your phone fixed, kid!” 

Herta then shared some less-than-glamorous photos left on his phone by Felix Rosenqvist and Simon Pagenaud:

The defending Indy 500 winner also left a special video on Herta’s phone, notifying Herta that he was helping him with his love life.

“Hey Colton Herta. Hope you’re doing well. I’ve got your phone in my hand right now and I’m having a little bit of fun with it,” Pagenaud said in the video. “I’m setting up some online dating accounts where I’m putting in all of your information.

“I want to make sure you find the right person. You know, it’s very important to be with the right person so you can be a better person yourself, and open your emotional side.”

Though Herta appeared to have taken the prank all in stride, he might not be leaving his phone out of sight anytime soon in the future.

According the the Indianapolis Star’s Nathan Brown, Herta’s new teammate Zach Veach held on to his phone during a media conference, and locked him out of his phone with the goal of keeping him out for three hours.

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.