Colton Herta will have Bryan Herta as his race strategist for 2021 season in IndyCar

Colton Herta Bryan strategist
Chris Owens/IndyCar

Colton Herta will have a very familiar voice in his ear for the NTT IndyCar Series races this season, though in a way he never has heard before.

The Andretti Autosport driver revealed Thursday that his father, Bryan, will be his race strategist on his rebranded No. 26 Dallara-Honda with Gainbridge sponsorship. It’s part of personnel moves that also include former co-owners George Steinbrenner IV and Mike Harding leaving the team.

“It’s a little different; what’s kind of been nice, now my dad is actually my strategist, which a lot of people didn’t know that,” Herta said. “It’s very unknown in the media. Yeah, I’m looking forward to that.

“Obviously I lost George and Mike. I’m very grateful for what they did for me to get me into IndyCar. But looking forward this year, working with the whole Andretti crew, also my dad, which is going to be a big change for me.”

It’ll be the first time in Colton Herta’s career that Bryan Herta will call races for his son, who finished third in the IndyCar points standings with a victory at Mid-Ohio last season.

“Never talked to him on the radio until we were testing wintertime,” Herta, 20, said. “It’s been very different. I don’t think he’s ever heard me talk on the radio before. He’s always kind of put me in the best position for people that are very smart to work around me and help me with that.

“I think for most teenagers growing up, the last thing they want to hear is their parents nag them and tell them what to do. I understand that he’s right, but that is the last thing I wanted to hear.”

Though other father-son duos (Michael and Marco Andretti, Bobby and Graham Rahal) haven’t worked well as driver-strategist combinations, Bryan Herta, who also owns a sports car team, brings an accomplished resume for tactics. He was the architect of Indy 500 victories for Dan Wheldon (2011) and Alexander Rossi (2016), both with fuel mileage as an important component, and called races for Marco Andretti.

“Obviously, neither of us would do it if we didn’t think we could do it,” Bryan Herta told “We’re well aware of the potential pitfalls, and we’re going into this with our eyes open to avoid (any).”

Colton Herta said a similar demeanor should be the main key to their success.

“I think you can tell by now that we’re both pretty mellow,” Colton Herta said of his father. “We don’t get excited, and we don’t get upset or very sad. We stay pretty even. Our emotions don’t really get the better of us.

“I think the other personalities will get heated at each other, where I don’t think it would happen with us because of how mellow we are.”

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”