Herta apologizes for Road America remarks

Colton Herta has apologized for remarks he made at the conclusion of a post-race interview after IndyCar’s visit to Road America on Sunday.

Herta has since told associates that be believed that he was speaking off the record when he told a journalist that he'd need to “bring a gun and shoot somebody in the head” in order to get IndyCar's race control team to call a penalty. RACER  was present during the exchange while waiting to film an interview with Herta, and had a similar impression that the formal part of the conversation between the Andretti driver and the other journalist was over. It is not uncommon for drivers to speak more candidly once they believe that they are no longer being recorded.

The comments were made in reference to the series' choice to not penalize Team Penske's Josef Newgarden, who hit and spun Herta on the opening lap of the race.

"First off, it’s just apologies," Herta told RACER on Tuesday morning at the Milwaukee Mile. "You know, when you’re in the heat of the moment and you just get out of the car, you tend to say things. A lot of things that you regret. And this is one of them. It’s no excuse for for being right out of the car and just being mad. I should know better. So I apologize to everyone that I offended, and to IndyCar."

The IndyCar Series shared its thoughts on the matter.

"Colton Herta's comments following Sunday's race at Road America were highly regrettable and disappointing," it said in a statement. "IndyCar officials met in person with Colton, Monday, and expressed the series' displeasure and expectation that its drivers uphold higher and more appropriate standards with their public comments. Colton was very regretful and apologetic and understands that any further comments of this sort will be readdressed appropriately and swiftly."

Herta also extended an olive branch to IndyCar's race stewards.

"I have a lot of respect for what they do in the booth," he said. "I know it’s a hard job, and I know I’m not going to get every call that I want or agree with everything that happens. And this is one of those cases. This was just something that was taken pretty far out of context. It’s just one of those things that sucks."