Sonoma, Calif. (September 16, 2018) The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series finale brought Harding Racing its best start and finish of the season after entering two cars in the Grand Prix of Sonoma. Patricio O’Ward, pilot of the #8, participated in the Firestone Fast Six, qualified in fifth position and finished ninth. Colton Herta, pilot of the #88, qualified 19th and finished the day in 20th.
This was Herta’s and O’Ward’s IndyCar debut following their recent graduation from the Mazda Road to Indy program. O’Ward is the newly-crowned Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion, and Colton Herta is the runner-up and Freedom 100 winner.
“This weekend was a good experience,” said Colton Herta. “I’m not too happy with the result, but I’m happy with the way my debut went and the pace that I showed. There are sure some things that I can work on going into the off season. I had an amazing time. Thank you to Harding Racing, Mike Harding
, Team Chevy and Firestone. Can’t wait to see if we can do it again in St. Pete.”
“It was a really great weekend, and we learned a lot,” said Patricio O’Ward. “We qualified the car fifth, and we ended the race ninth. As a driver, you want to stay in your qualifying position or get better. But I think for a first try, especially with a super long race with three or four pit stops, that was a job well done. I’m really satisfied, and I just want to get better for next year.”
“What a great weekend,” said Brian Barnhart. “We could not have asked for a better weekend at Harding Racing. We were just looking to come here and focus on the debut of these two guys and their IndyCar Series races. The most important thing was to get both of them to finish, and we did that. We had excellent race results out of both of them. Both cars finished on the lead lap, we gained a ton of valuable experience and this also gives us a lot to focus on over the winter. The plan is to come out of the gate strong in 2019.”
“We had a great weekend in Sonoma,” said Al Unser Jr. “The crew did a fantastic job on both cars, and what can I say about the drivers…the new kids on the block
! Colton did a fantastic job and Pato did a superb job. The beginning of a new era with Harding Racing. I think it was a wonderful weekend in Sonoma. Congratulations to Scott Dixon on his fifth IndyCar championship, and of course to Ryan Hunter-Reay for winning the race. Those guys were awfully strong. We’re going to take the winter now to regroup and hopefully come back stronger to fight for the title next year.”