2022 IndyCar GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis results: Colton Herta holds it together to win in the rain

USA Today

Rain washed away all the strategies and permutations teams had and rewrote the book on the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, as the month of May festivities -- which culminate on May 29 with the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 -- got underway with a crazy, head-scratching race.

"That was the craziest race I think I have ever done," Herta said. "Wet to dry back to wet ... man."

Rain kept teams guessing from whether to run rain tires and when to switch to slicks as drivers and teams were not only second-guessing but third-guessing and gut-checking throughout the event. It all eventually ended up in the race being changed from a laps completed race to a timed race, just as everyone had likely decided on a strategy, making teams switch up again.

The frustration arose do to the size of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the proper road course part of the 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit being drier than the oval's Turns 1, 2 and the front straight.

Colton Herta's lead was so large at the end that even an off-road trip wasn't able to derail his efforts this time as it has it so many other races. It helped that Pagenaud and Power both seemed to be content to bring their cars home on the podium for a race that proved to continually change nearly lap-by-lap.

A final caution, brought out by Juan Pablo Montoya contacting the wall on his way what would have been a finish somewhere in the top 10, took the pressure off and allowed Herta to cruise to the checkered flag. The win is the first on the season for a Honda-powered team and comes just at the right time as they look to build momentum for the end of the month of May.

What we learned

For all the times we have witnessed Herta lose concentration, or be impatient, and throw a race away, the GMR Grand Prix was evidence that he can keep his focus and attention where it needs to be and bring the car home and to Victory Lane. His save as he was setting up Pato O'Ward to pass for the race lead in the early stages of the race, his car drifting through the turn as the wheel was completely on opposite lock, was a masterful display of car control in track conditions that must have felt like the car was roller skating on ice.

F1 teams have noted his speed, but this display most certainly moved his abilities up a notch in their minds.

Attention now turns to the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500. Practice begins Tuesday, May 17 with qualifying Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, and the 22-year-old American will obviously be among the favorites to end up drinking the milk in the winner's circle on May 29.

GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis Top 10

  1. Colton Herta
  2. Simon Pagenaud
  3. Will Power
  4. Marcus Ericsson
  5. Conor Daly
  6. Felix Rosenqvist
  7. Takuma Sato
  8. Callum Ilott
  9. Christian Lundgaard
  10. Scott Dixon
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May 14, 2022, 10:06 PM
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May 14, 2022, 9:53 PM
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What started in a hurry ends as a parade as Colton Herta holds on, helped by that final caution brought out by Juan Pablo Montoya's incident.

Your unofficial Top 10:

1. Colton Herta

2. Simon Pagenaud

3. Will Power

4. Marcus Ericsson

5. Conor Daly

6. Felix Rosenqvist

7. Takuma Sato

8. Callum Ilott

9. Christian Lundgaard

10. Scott Dixon

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Under four minutes to go, and Herta is our leader with a 3.5-second lead over Pagenaud, followed by Power, Daly and Ericsson in fifth.

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May 14, 2022, 9:45 PM
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May 14, 2022, 9:40 PM
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Herta wins the drag race with O'Ward down the front straight to dive into the road course in first. O'Ward is second, Pagenaud third and the caution is out again!

13 minutes and counting down.

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After all that strategy and McLaughlin spins, putting O'Ward to the lead. Right behind O'Ward is Herta, on rain tires. 

Replay shows McLaughlin just got turned around exiting a turn.

Here comes the restart.

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May 14, 2022, 9:35 PM
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Top three runners -- McLaughlin, O'Ward and Grosjean -- are on the alternate reds. The rest of the field are on rain tires. 

McLaughlin's team is thinking that if they can hang on, they should be good on the slicks to finish the race with it being a timed event now.

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All the running under caution has made this race change from a lap completion race to a timed event, and the clock is ticking down under 19 minutes.

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May 14, 2022, 9:28 PM
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May 14, 2022, 9:28 PM
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May 14, 2022, 9:27 PM
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Rain has thrown all the algorithms and strategies out the window as it has come down to second-guessing, third-guessing and gut-checking here at the Brickyard.

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Even under yellow, following the pace car, the cars on the slick tires are sliding and twitchy. Cars that pitted for reds a moment ago are pitting again for rain tires, including the race leader, Herta.

What a crazy race!

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May 14, 2022, 9:24 PM
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