Colton shows his winning edge.
Bryan Herta's 11-year-old son Colton is setting out to follow in his IndyCar and sports car driver father's footsteps, competing in karting this year.
It's really cool to write a blog for the RACER website. Dad gets the magazine every month and I really like to read the IndyCar and Formula 1 articles because when I grow up, I want to be an F1 or an IndyCar driver. I want to thank RACER for letting me get some news out about me. I know all about needing a budget for racing from my dad and I hope this will help me to get some sponsors – which I'm going to need because I want to keep on racing.
I'm 11 years old now and grew up at IndyCar races. I started racing karts when I was six, so I already have five years of racing. It was hard at first, but now I know what to expect and I have been doing better and better every year.
I am racing karts this year in three different series – Pro Kart South in the Tag Cadet class, IFK Region 7 in PRD1 and KPV1 and the SKUSA Pro Tour in Tag Cadet. I'm also going to race the IKF Grand Nationals in five different classes! At the end of the year, we're going to the ROK World Finals in Italy. It's a lot of racing but I'd rather be at the track than anywhere else. I'm really looking forward to racing in Italy because racing in the finals is way more aggressive and competitive, so I know I will learn a lot.
I have been to France and Italy before on vacation but I haven't seen any racing over there yet. I went to Monaco one time with my mom and dad, and that was really cool. There wasn't any racing going on but we walked the track and drove it in a rental car. Dad took a couple of turns fast for me. I'm sure it would be great to be there for the race and I would really like to race there one day.
My racing this year has been really good. I've won three races already and had two DNFs. One time my chain popped off after I ran over a curb and hit a rock, and another time I punted another kid and when I came back on track I bent my axle. But my wins were really cool. My first win this year was in a PRD1 race, which is the fastest class that I run, at CalSpeed in Fontana, and I won two races in Pro Kart South at Willow Springs and then at Buttonwillow. I won that race by six seconds, and afterward they took my engine apart in Tech and weighed everything because they thought I was going too fast! Dad said he had never seen anyone take an engine apart before like that, but everything was fine – except they gave it back to us in about 100 pieces!
I'm one of the older kids in the Cadet class this year, so it is a little bit easier because a lot of the other kids have moved up. It hasn't really made a big difference, except it will make me work a bit harder because I don't want to be beaten by any of the younger kids. I've already learned a lot this year – because in the last couple of races I had some complaints about my driving. They said that I was too aggressive, but I didn't take anybody out. On the last lap in the last corner is where it counts, and when I'm in second and I have to make a move, that's when I try to be a little more aggressive.
My next race is in the SKUSA Pro Tour this weekend in Tucson, Ariz. It's the Spring Nationals and there should be lots of karts in my class, with the best kids from around the U.S., so it's going to be a really big event. This is going to be the 15th year for the SKUSA series (Superkarts USA), and it is the National Championship Series where all the best drivers from around the country will be racing. I haven't been there before but I'm looking forward to it – I've heard it's a really dusty track.
When I go to a new track for the first time, I usually listen to my crew chief Troy McCall and my tuner Phil Carlson, then my dad. I walk the track and I really listen to what he says, because he knows a lot more than I do. Then I try to focus really hard on the track in the first couple of sessions and try to hit my lines and get fast lap times.
The other cool thing about this week is that I'm going to have the No. 1 on my kart because I won the SKUSA National Championship last year, not No. 26 like I usually have. So everyone will be gunning for me, like Sebastian Vettel!
I'll let you guys know how I do. Thanks for reading my blog.