Back in May 2023, Colton Herta’s birthday present to his father was the actual Team Rahal / Reynard / Ford Cosworth that papa Bryan drove to victory at Laguna Seca back in 1998.
This weekend, the livery on Colton’s No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda will mimic his father’s black, yellow and white colors and iconic Shell livery. Herta Jr. will attempt to win the Grand Prix of Monterey for the third time in his career, crushing his father’s record of a single victory at the famed circuit.
It reminded many in attendance of Bobby Rahal and Graham Rahal’s similar PR moment a couple years ago.
The dad and lad duo drove their respective cars in front of a huge gathering of crew members past and present, along with the majority of the current IndyCar Series grid. It was a unique spectacle. The 53-year-old Bryan Herta opened up the throttle and pushed the old CART machine for four quick laps before pulling into pit lane to catch his breath. Then it was Bryan’s 23-year-old son Colton’s turn to try out his dad’s hot rod. Colton received a final bit of advice from his father about the rev limiter and shift points but was then let loose, immediately stomping the pedal as the back end danced leaving pit lane.
The on-track limits were instantly being pushed as the 23-year-old surpassed his father’s lap total and then some before parking it for the day.