Kansas A Gas For Herta
July 6, 2003 | 3:31 P.M. EST
The Californian, who started ninth in the 22-car field, worked his way through traffic and ran in the sixth position for most of the day. On the first pit stop team manager Kyle Moyer decided to short-fill the car to keep Bryan’s track position. On the second pit stop at lap 80, the Archipelago/Motorola crew did not change tires but added 35 gallons of fuel and a turn of front wing. Herta was able to maintain his position just outside of the top-five, even with the used tires.
"From the last pit stop, Kyle Moyer and the Archipelago/Motorola crew set me up for the win," said Herta. "We were just lapping out there and trying to save as much fuel as we could. I owe Robbie Buhl a bottle of champagne because I drafted him there at the end. I’m not in the points championship, so we didn’t have any reason not to gamble and win the race."
As the third round of pit stops came, the team knew they needed to get another full fuel load. Herta pitted on lap 139 and was able to run the rest of the race without another fuel stop. The Archipelago/Motorola crew got him out in fourth place and as the other teams pulled into pit lane for a "splash-and-go" Herta moved up the scoring pylon. He led the final six laps of the race -- the first laps he has led in the IndyCar Series -- to capture his third career open-wheel victory.
Helio Castroneves finished second ahead of his teammate Gil de Ferran. Herta’s teammate Tony Kanaan held onto his series points lead with a fourth place finish. Kanaan leads the championship by 31 points over Scott Dixon. Dan Wheldon was involved in an accident with Felipe Giaffone on lap 56 and finished 21st.
Herta will now head to Nashville Superspeedway to try in win his second consecutive race. The Nashville Indy 200 will be run on Saturday night, July 19.