When Josef Newgarden stepped onto the podium at Austin to celebrate second place and an extension of his early title lead, he wasn't expecting to be drinking non-alcoholic cider rather than sparkling wine.
That was meant to be for 18-year-old Colton Herta, who had just become IndyCar's youngest-ever race winner. It was a fairytale result for the new-look Harding team, now known as Harding Steinbrenner Racing, that had set out to rise from a one-off entry at the 2017 Indianapolis 500 to become a more stable, well-backed two-car team for '19.
Except that wasn't how things played out. The feel-good story of the pre-season crumbed over the winter. It was some crash from the wave the team had been riding, which had included securing Andretti Autosport technical support that extended to using some of its staff and help in the few areas open for development in IndyCar.