No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, March 29, 2019


March 27, 2019

Colton Herta



Two years ago I had the good fortune to meet young Colton Herta at event just prior to his first race in Indy Lights at St. Petersburg, He was 17 years old and already had garnered a ton of experience during a stint driving in Europe that started when he was 15. His father, Bryan Herta was an accomplished Indy Car driver and it looked from the start like he was going to be following in his footsteps. Not only that but at 17, he was mature, composed and friendly, if not a little shy.

Bryan and Colton Herta, 2017 

His first weekend in Indy Lights that year gave a glimpse into the bright future that was ahead for his as right out of the box in his very first race, he finished a strong second. The next day he won with a dominating performance and I was there in Victory Lane for the big celebration of his first win. It was pretty damn cool, he won again at the Indy Lights race at Barber which I saw that same year and his career has been on an upswing since.

Colton Herta's first Indy Lights win in 2017


Stephan Johannssen and Felix Rosenqvist

He joined the newly forged alliance of Harding-Steinbrenner racing this year to start his Indy Car career at the age of 18 and after a decent showing in St. Pete (8th), was on point for the entire weekend at COTA. He was fast from the opening practice, actually from the pre-season test where the small underfunded team was the quickest in testing. Rumors floated around the paddock that they must have tested with the car underweight to achieve such speed, but his quickness in every session backed up that early result.


The team lost an engine in the first session and though it through the team behind the eightball, they scrambled and actually got the car back together by the end of the second session and by qualifying in fourth place the team showed that it was back on pace. Still most would not have expected them to be an actual factor in the race itself.

Robby Gordon


Race day dawned overcast and cloudy and it remained that way most of the day, with the sun peeking through from time to time, but mostly just a beautiful overcast warm day. The early part of the day saw the second Indy Lights race of the weekend, which was not as exciting as the first one with talented Oliver Askew pretty much dominating the entire field leading flag to flag to complete a sweep of the Indy Lights weekend.

Oliver Askew


The Indy Car race was much better, I was able to stay down on starting grid until just before the command to start engines then hustle my way over to my seat high in stand 15. It was a beautiful start to the race with polesitter Will Power darting off to a lead, followed closely by Alexander Rossi and Herta. That trio led the way for the first 44 of the 60 lap race until the first and only full course yellow occurred when James Hinchcliffe and Felix Rosenqvist collided. 

Paul Tracy

Power and Rossi had not yet made pit stops and got caught out and relegated to the back of the pack. Power had a mechanical issue and never made it out of the pits and Rossi was mired in the rear of the field, so while we did not get a much anticipated potential shootout between the two strongest cars, what we did get is a rookie in the lead holding off the likes of defending series champion Joseph Newgarden and former champ. Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Power and Rossi 

Herta drove masterfully and was pulling away by the time the checkered flag fell, making him at age 18 (he turns 19 this week) the youngest driver in history to win an Indy Car race and giving Harding-Steinbrenner Racing and young Herta their first Indy Car win ever. It was a hugely popular victory, as throughout the paddock people celebrated a bright new star on the Indy Car scene and a massive underdog beating the high-powered teams and it not being a fluke of any kind.

Victory lane was a massive celebration, Herta not yet being 21 had to celebrate with a non-alcoholic champagne. Newgarden finished second and Hunter-Reay was third for an All-American podium. The first race at COTA was by any measure a big success. The crowd was not massive, but it was respectable and hopefully the excitement of the racing weekend will draw even more fans as time moves forward.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


March 25, 2019



One of the coolest things about the race weekend at COTA in Austin was that they put the huge 14,000 capacity Austin360 amphitheater located in the center of the racetrack to good use by hosting a concert by the British rock band Muse the Saturday night after qualifying had concluded and the evening prior to the race itself. The concert topped off a wonderful long and full day of activity at the track that included an Indy Lights race, A Stadium Super Trucks race, sports car race and the Indy Car knock out qualifying session.

There was some question as to what the racing might be like for the Indy Cars at the track but if the first Indy Lights race was any indication, it was going to be pretty damn spectacular. My seat for the race was high in stand 15 which offered a panoramic view which offered me a chance to see a huge portion of the twisty track. It offered a great view of the best passing zone coming down the long back stretch into turn 12 and through all of turns 13 through 17.



Reading the box score for the Indy Lights race might give the wrong idea of the type of race it was, Polesitter Oliver Askew took off from the green and dominated the race, leading all 20 laps with relative ease, but behind him it was pure mayhem as drivers passed and repassed took turns two and three wide and basically pou on one of the most entertaining races I have seen in ages. 

Rinus Veekay (2nd),  Robert Megennis (3rd) and Toby Sowery waged an all-out battle, often changing positions multiple times during a single lap, running wheel to wheel and dive bombing each other with abandon in a thrill show of racing prowess for such a young group of guys. If that race wasn’t exciting enough, the Stadium Supertrucks put on an even more scintillating show. They are always a blast to watch and it is cool to see a couple of former Indy Car drivers in Robby Gordon and Matthew Brabham racing them.

Colton Herta

The Indy Car qualifying was both surprising and not so much as once again Will Power put together yet another perfect lap at just the right time in the final knockout round to snag the pole position, his 56th pole of his career. He is basically almost unstoppable in qualifying. There were a number of surprises in those making the top twelve. As four rookies broke through to start in the top twelve including Santino Ferrucci (11th), Pato O’Ward (8th), Felix Rosenqvist (5th) and a remarkable effort by Colton Herta (3rd).  Rossi (2nd), Hunter-Reay (4th) and Dixon (6th) completed the Fast Six.

Alexander Rossi 

Joseph Newgarden

Zach Veach

In spite of how much I love racing, the highlight of the day was the amazing, incredible performance at the amphitheater by Muse.  First it was pretty cool to see them wandering around the pit lane and paddock during the afternoon as they checked out the race teams, cars and met with various drivers including Colton Herta and Conor Daly. They did not really draw all that much attention and seemed to enjoy themselves quite a lot.

Muse lead singer Matt Bellamy with Colton Herta and Conor Daly 

Muse in the Pits

The British band has been around since 1993, consisting of Matt Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Chris Wolstenholme (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Dominic Howard (drums). I had seen them once previously many years ago at a music festival, but cannot by any stretch be considered a big fan. I am familiar with some of their music, but probably would not have even gone to see them again if it was not included in the race weekend.

That would be a huge mistake going forward as they put on one of the best concerts and most enthusiastic live performances I have seen in years. Their show was fantastic and I would suggest if you get a chance to see it, that you should take the opportunity right away. The stage show was really nothing short of incredible and Bellamy is one of the best rock frontmen working today. The packed crowd at the amphitheater was intense as well and I am sure that many of the fans probably were not even aware that a race was happening over the weekend.

Olivier and Kate