Pataskala, Ohio (19 October 2020) – Meyer Shank Racing and Jack Harvey are aiming to make a strong finish to the 2020 IndyCar season at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday (2:30pm ET, NBC) as the team completes its first full-season NTT INDYCAR Series campaign.
Returning back to the site of the originally scheduled IndyCar Series opening round – which was canceled last minute in March due to COVID-19 – Meyer Shank Racing is looking forward to the first, and only, street course event in 2020.
Harvey will be making his third start on the Streets of St. Petersburg this weekend, having debuted at the track with MSR in 2018. A cut tire ended his race early, but he came back stronger in 2019 and he netted his best qualifying run at that point (7th) and went on to score his first-ever IndyCar top 10 finish.
“I’m really excited to get back to St. Pete, shall we say,” said Harvey. “It’s such a shame that we didn’t get to race there in March, but I’m really thrilled that we can have it as a season finale instead of a season opener. I hope it’s a really great weekend for us. We’ve had some great momentum and consistency so hopefully we can have a solid result to end the season on a high note.”
Harvey’s first full season campaign has seen him demonstrate impressive pace in qualifying with two front row starting positions in 2020. Despite racing on several tracks that were new to him this year, he has also shown speed at race time.
The Briton has had five top ten finishes in 2020 with a best finish of sixth at the Harvest Grand Prix last month. Some unfortunate racing luck has kept those promising qualifying outings from converting into a return to the IndyCar podium for Harvey so far, but he will look to close the year out on a strong note in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and move up from 13th in the IndyCar points standings.
Meyer Shank Racing’s Season at a Glance:
Genesys 300 – Texas Motor Speedway:
After the 2020 IndyCar season was delayed three months due to COVID-19, MSR and Harvey picked the season back up and made their debut at Texas Motor Speedway in June. Having never driven the high-speed, high intensity, 1.5-mile oval, Harvey was tasked with learning as quickly as possible for the single-day event.
A track that has frequently claimed many competitors into the wall, Texas Motor Speedway treated Harvey well. After starting 21st, Harvey made up five position to finish 16th.
GMR Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course:
It was a highly anticipated race weekend to return to the site where Harvey scored his first IndyCar podium in 2019. The IMS Road Course has highlighted Harvey’s growth and pace, and once again proved that he is a top contender in IndyCar.
Quick pace right out of the gate saw Harvey nearly score his first IndyCar pole position, but just two-tenths shy, Harvey made his first front row start. The race was playing out in Harvey’s favor as he ran in podium contention and led his first official laps in IndyCar. Unfortunately, just as Harvey was set to make his second stop of the race, a yellow flag was deployed which closed pit lane and forced the team to alter strategy. Harvey ultimately finished 17th.
Rev Group Grand Prix – Road America:
Race One Race Two
Start: 2 Start: 9
Finish: 23 Finish: 17
The first double header of the season brought the team to Road America. Harvey’s pace from IMS translated to the nearly 4.0-mile circuit in Wisconsin. Qualifying second for Race 1, Harvey was eager to once again make a run to the podium. With luck once again not on Harvey’s side, he was forced to retire early with a brake issue.
Starting from ninth for Race 2 of the weekend gave Harvey another opportunity to make a run to the front. It was just a few feet after the green flag that Harvey was struck from behind going into Turn 1 which prevented the Briton from moving through the field. Harvey finish 17th.
Iowa IndyCar 250s – Iowa Speedway:
Race One Race Two
Start: 9 Start: 6
Finish: 7 Finish: 7
Another double header race weekend was staged at Iowa Speedway. Aside from the IMS oval, Iowa Speedway was another oval on the IndyCar schedule that Harvey had previous experience while competing in Indy Lights competition.
The 0.875-mile ‘bull ring’ saw Harvey qualify for Race 1 in ninth and then move on to qualifying sixth for Race 2. Harvey brought home a pair of seventh place finishes in the two 90-minute races – bringing the MSR team back on track to consistently finish in the top 10.
Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
In addition to the many changes the 2020 season presented MSR with, the Indianapolis 500 was the first 500-mile event to be held without fans and in the Month of August. Making his fourth start at the iconic event, Harvey made a qualifying run which set him 20th in the 33 car field.
Determined to make his best finish to date, Harvey and the team were able to use strategy, pace and quick pit stops to advance 11 positions to finish ninth.
Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – World Wide Technology Raceway:
Race One Race Two
Start: 7 Start: 5
Finish: 11 Finish: 13
Making another top ten race start (7th) for Race 1 at WWTR, Harvey was on the fast track to make his first top five finish of the season. The race saw Harvey run in the front of the field with the MSR crew performing one of its fastest pit stops to date. But a caution midway through the race which was called for the threat of rain – which never came to fruition – forced the team to reorganize its strategy and claw its way back to an 11th place finish.
Qualifying for Race 2 fifth was promising for Harvey as he hoped to turn his luck around for Race 2. Unfortunately, Harvey was unable to make his way through the field despite several strategy calls to do so – Harvey crossed the line 13th.
Honda Indy 200 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course:
Race One Race Two
Start: 5 Start: 19
Finish: 7 Finish: 12
Racing at his home track for the third IndyCar season in a row, MSR was determined to get a good result in front of its home crowd. A big improvement on day one saw Harvey make a run to fifth in qualifying for Race 1. A bold strategy to start on alternate tires for Race 1 benefitted Harvey as he raced to seventh – his fourth top ten finish of the season.
New track conditions presented Harvey with a wet track surface for qualifying for Race 2. Starting on the 10th row Harvey hoped to add to his top ten finish streak, but came up just short to finish 12th.
INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course:
Race One Race Two
Start: 6 Start: 7
Finish: 8 Finish: 6
Meyer Shank Racing kicked off race week with several exciting announcements. First, the team broke ground on its new 46,000 sq. ft. Shop that’s due to be completed next year.
MSR also announced a minority investment made by Liberty Media which is attributed to the Formula One Group. With 2021 looking bright for MSR, the team was ready to kick off its third race weekend at IMS.
The weekend started off with Harvey making his fifth appearance in the Firestone Fast Six for Race 1. Finishing eighth in Race 1 was a solid starting point heading into the final race on Sunday. Starting from seventh on the grid for Race 2, Harvey captured his sixth top ten finish, coming home sixth at IMS.