Joe Skibinski/IndyCar

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.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter 

Donny Schatz edges Kyle Larson for Outlaws victory at Lake Ozark

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
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Donny Schatz made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson, snatching a World of Outlaws victory Saturday night at Lake Ozark Speedway.

Larson started on the pole, led 30 of 35 laps and was in control until a caution set up a two-lap shootout to the finish before a limited crowd in Eldon, Missouri.

Schatz and Larson traded the lead twice over the final two laps, but the 10-time champion emerged with his first victory since the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returned in mid-May from a two-month layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

‘THEY’VE STUCK BEHIND ME’: Kyle Larson comments on future, Outlaws plans

“Man, I don’t know what to say, but Kyle’s a damn good racer,” Schatz, who led five laps, told DirtVision after his 296th Outlaws win. “I kind of had to go where he didn’t. We got that green-white-checkered, and I decided I was going to send it. He decided the same thing.

Donny Schatz celebrates at Lake Ozark Speedway after his second Outlaws Sprint Car victory of the season (Trent Gower).

“I’m glad to get the win. It feels like it’s been forever. I’ve been out here 24 years, and every night is a learning experience still.”

Larson finished second in his fifth start since he began racing with the Outlaws after being suspended from NASCAR.

“Obviously, it would have been nice to get the win,” Larson said on DirtVision. “I figured Donny would rip the middle. The restarts before, he’d almost clear me in (turns) 3 and 4. I should have known to protect and block his momentum. I felt I exited 2 OK. We don’t have spotters or rearview mirrors so you can’t see how close he is or really hear it when the pace is so slow.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job to run a smarter final couple of laps.”

Brad Sweet, Larson’s brother in law, finished third, with Shane Stewart and David Gravel rounding out the top five.

Larson rebounded from a 10th in Friday’s feature at Lake Ozark Speedway, continuing his streak of top-10 finishes in all five of his starts since the Outlaws’ return.

“We got our car a lot better from last night, so that was a plus,” said Larson, who finished second and first in back-to-back nights last week at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at Pevely, Missouri. “These guys are really tough. To be on the podium with Donny and Brad, they’ve won lots of big races and championships, it’s nice. I just didn’t do what I needed to do that last restart.”

Larson nearly had a flawless night Saturday, turning a 11.426-second lap to capture his second pole position this season and won the pole dash to start first in the feature.

Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing from his NASCAR Cup Series ride last month for using a racial slur in an iRacing event, said last week that he plans to run several more NOS Energy Sprint Car Series races this year.

Larson remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR but was approved to race by the Outlaws after completing sensitivity training.