Herta had dominated proceedings at St. Petersburg, and though Penske’s Newgarden put the Andretti Autosport driver beneath stress following two yellow flags within the closing quarter of the race, Herta resisted his efforts to assert his fourth profession IndyCar win.
From pole, Herta instantly started to clear the remainder of the pack initially and stored a wholesome buffer between himself and Jack Harvey over the opening laps.
Herta was then capable of management the early tempo, and as soon as extra gapped Harvey after the opening yellow flag interval for Jimmie Johnson – who got here to a cease on the closing hairpin and required roadside help.
However as soon as Newgarden cleared Harvey approaching the primary spherical of stops for the front-runners, Herta’s lead started to fall as his softer tyres started to put on in comparison with Newgarden’s more durable tyres.
Newgarden remained on the laborious tyres and Herta switched compounds to match his rival, who was looking for a 3rd consecutive IndyCar win on the Floridian road circuit.
However Herta as a substitute started to increase his lead all through the center interval of the race, and constructed a shocking break over Newgarden.
Begin, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda, Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Josef Newgarden, Workforce Penske Chevrolet, Sebastien Bourdais, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
After extending his lead over Newgarden to 11s, Herta’s hopes of scampering additional into the space had been dashed as Johnson introduced out one other warning interval after spinning on the exit of Flip three with 1 / 4 of the 100-lap race remaining.
Newgarden hustled Herta by way of the following three laps utilizing his softer tyres, till his assault was paused by an additional warning interval as Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones was punted right into a spin by Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward.
As soon as Jones bought again on his method and green-flag racing returned, Newgarden restarted his efforts to move Herta, spending a few of his push-to-pass to attempt to clear the Andretti driver.
However with Herta on the extra sturdy tyre, Newgarden dropped away within the closing 10 laps and left Herta to clinch his first win on a road circuit – with the hole between the entrance two finally clocked at 2.5s.
Simon Pagenaud, who had certified alongside Penske team-mate Newgarden on the second row, claimed third place following a quiet race – along with his solely positional transfer being on Harvey to take the ultimate step on the rostrum.
Meyer Shank Racing’s Harvey stored tempo with Pagenaud, however couldn’t return the favour and re-pass the Penske driver – ending 1.9s adrift.
Scott Dixon put in a usually robust drive to assert fifth place, inside a second of Harvey, whereas Takuma Sato was significantly energetic within the early phases and made a lot of swashbuckling strikes to assert sixth.
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Picture by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
Sato’s solely copybook blot was his robust transfer on James Hinchcliffe, which left the Andretti driver to drop a lap after struggling a puncture within the aftermath.
Chip Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson was inside touching distance of Sato by the top, however the Japanese driver held him off, whereas Will Energy managed to get well from 20th on the grid to assert eighth following a measured race.
Rinus VeeKay took ninth, simply half a second away from Energy, with Sebastien Bourdais finishing the highest 10.
Bourdais had a fraught begin, having sustained late repairs to his AJ Foyt-run automobile which meant he was solely simply capable of take to the start of the race.
The Frenchman then tagged Newgarden initially, including injury to his nosecone and displacing a digicam.
Scott McLaughlin was the highest-placed rookie within the race, ending 11th for Workforce Penske forward of Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist, with Romain Grosjean in 13th place for Dale Coyne Racing.
Graham Rahal and Alexander Rossi, who had been within the combat for a powerful high 10 outcome early on, fell down the order after the 2 tangled following their first stops.
Rossi, having accomplished his first cease to tackle the red-walled softs, got here to blows with Rahal who was trying to clear the Andretti driver along with his hotter tyres.
Rahal tagged the defensive Rossi at Flip four, and once more coalesced on the Flip 5 run-off. Though each bought going, Rahal fell down the order whereas Rossi was left with a burst tyre and needed to escape to the pits.
IndyCar St. Petersburg outcomes – 100 laps