Harding Racing will cap off its first full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series by expanding to a two-car team to field Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta, the top two finishers in the recently concluded Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season.
O’Ward, having just secured the Indy Lights title and $1 million IndyCar scholarship, will pilot a second Chevrolet carrying the number 8 for the series’ finale at Sonoma Raceway. Herta, son of Andretti Autosport partner Bryan Herta, will race Harding’s full-season No. 88 entry.
The Harding team gave both young drivers their first laps in an Indy car during recent tests, including O’Ward’s at Sonoma five days after he swept the two Indy Lights races held during the Grand Prix of Portland weekend.
“We’re really happy with how Patricio did in the car at Sonoma,” said team president Brian Barnhart. “Coupling that with the excellent job that Colton did in Portland earlier in August, Harding Racing is really excited about being able to provide their Verizon IndyCar Series race day debuts next week at Sonoma.”
The two recent Mazda Road to Indy graduates will experience their first official IndyCar session Sept. 14 as preparations begin for the Grand Prix of Sonoma that will wrap up the season two days later.