While he was left in the unenviable position of playing straight-man to Alex Zanardi's acrobatic victory in the Champ Car race at Laguna Seca Raceway in 1996, Bryan Herta gained a measure of revenge for it two years later, scoring his first career Indy car win at the same track in another Team Rahal Reynard, albeit now powered by a Ford Cosworth engine. All the sweeter, he beat Zanardi – the two-time defending series champ – in a straight fight.
Herta actually dominated the race this time, but it seemed that the racing gods were once again conspiring against him when a late caution closed up the field, enabling Zanardi to gain another final shot at glory. This time, though, Herta was ready, holding him off in the Corkscrew and everywhere else over the final laps to score his first win in 70 CART starts.
He also duplicated the feat at Laguna the following year, by which time Zanardi had left CART for Formula 1...so in fact Bryan holds career bragging rights over Zanardi at the track, 2-1!