Flowing locks ruin pole-sitter’s IndyCar race

Colton Herta says he won’t be getting a haircut any time soon despite it obscuring his vision after a balaclava failure in the latest IndyCar Series race.

The Andretti Autosport driver started the 85-lap race at Exhibition Place from pole position but was usurped early on by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon who went on to win.

It was a challenging finish for Herta who not only had McLaren SP driver Felix Rosenqvist breathing down his neck but hair in his face.

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“Yeah, I couldn’t really see much because my head sock broke,” said Herta post-race.

“All of my hair went in front of my face,” he laughed.

“I could see Felix when I went through turn three. I could kind of judge the gap. I was having to look out the sides of my visors instead of in front.

“This head sock that I have has to hold back a lot of hair so I can understand why it broke.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever actually seen that or heard of that. Go for the Felix trim next week.

“I don’t know if I just put that thing to good use or maybe there’s signs of wear and tear beforehand that I didn’t see.”

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Herta had been trying to make it to the checkered flag on a fuel conservation run while Rosenqvist raced unabated.

Already lacking pace, Herta said the equipment failure played the biggest part in his pedestrian close to proceedings.

“Honestly I think a lot of it was from the balaclava,” said the 22-year-old, who recently tested a Formula 1 car with McLaren.

“It sounds like a lame excuse and I try not to make excuses. Yeah, I really couldn’t see much.

“Regardless, even if I could see, Felix seemed to be really fast kind of just on pace with Scott, and we seemed to have a little bit more deg.

“I was starting to struggle there at the end where it looks like Felix was still able to get out of the corners and able to stay with me. Maybe he wasn’t struggling as much.”

It marked the first podium appearance for Herta since winning the sodden Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May.

Herta conceded he might need to be more vigilant in the future to avoid a repeat situation.

“For sure now I’m just going to be wearing a brand-new [balaclava] every time I race because I can’t leave anything up like that,” he said.

Asked if he would consider getting a haircut, Herta replied, “That would also solve things, but I’m not gonna.”

Although he came up short of the win, Herta was nonetheless complimentary for his Andretti Autosport team.

“The car was really good for all the race,” he said.

“Andretti brought a really good package here, and it showed. [Alexander] Rossi was running good until I don’t know what happened. I was right up there, too.

“All the cars in top 12 in qualifying, got a pole, second-place finish. I’m happy with that. It’s good to rebound with a result like this after Mid-Ohio.”

The IndyCar series heads to Iowa Speedway for a double-header on July 24-25 (AEST).

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