IRR’s latest in a series on IndyCar drivers’ similarities to certain Hollywood heavyweights has Colton Herta joining the likes of Indy 500 winners Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon. Heady company, indeed.
Photo from wibc.com
It turns out the youngest winner in IndyCar history – all hail Emperor Herta! – has quite a bit in common with another child star with a famous surname. What Colton Herta and Joaquin Phoenix share is much more than mere looks, though – or even familial fame. Talent, success and a difficult to define something extra also characterize these two.
Image from giphy.com
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974, Phoenix currently resides in Hollywood Hills, CA. Herta was born twenty six years later in Valencia, California and still lives there – when not on the road racing. If you’ve been to California recently, you’ll no doubt have noticed how strongly it resembles Puerto Rico – or maybe that’s Mexico.
Colton and Joaquin descend from famous families who’ve enjoyed wealth and widespead notoriety. One’s father is an Indy 500 winning team owner and was a victorious IndyCar pilot in his own right, while the other’s older brother was a Hollywood hearthrob and star before his tragic death due to drug abuse in 1993. Both have carved out highly successful careers independent of and yet identical to those of their famous family members. Unlike Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal however, Herta currently drives for an IndyCar team other than his father’s.
Photo from twitter.com
No Joker, Herta won his historic first IndyCar race last Sunday at the ripe old age of 18. This followed an eighth place finish in the season opener at St. Pete and a twentieth place showing in last year’s finale at Sonoma. That was his inaugural IndyCar race and in a sign of things to come he finished ahead of five veterans – including Ragin’ Rahal. At just 26, Phoenix earned a best supporting actor nomination for his turn as Emperor Commodus in Gladiator from 2000 – the same year Herta was born. Since then he’s performed admirably as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, Doc in Inherent Vice and as an operating system loving sad sack in Spike Jonze’s Her, among others. That’s entertainment!
Photo from rottentomatoes.com
This pair of celebrities have been recognized as among the very best at what they do, and with good reason. Clearly there’s lots of upside to both men who are still young, considering their respective professions. Heck, the fledgling Herta still looks like he’s ready to go off to SpaceCamp. Their similarities go beyond youthful energy and outstanding talent, though. No, we’re not talking about that slight weirdness they both tend to exhibit in public. These celebrity dopplegangers have that special “it” factor that’s tough to pinpoint but unmistakable when you watch them. For a variety of reasons, they’re easy to root for and will be for many years to come.
One thing’s for certain. For their early achievements in two very different fields, both Herta and Phoenix soon will be widely regarded as The Master – and rightfully so. Oh and by the way, the kid’s car remains unsponsored, for God’s sake!