Jack Harvey Season Review Q&A
October 30th, 2018
Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing:
1) You’ve just completed a partial season in IndyCar with Meyer Shank Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, contesting six of the rounds. What has it been like working with the MSR and SPM team?
I absolutely love working with everyone at Meyer Shank Racing and SPM as well. Just from competing in the 500 last year I was able to see how Michael [Shank] creates a family feel, and I certainly felt that again this season. He leads by example, and that funnels down through the whole team. When it gets tough during a weekend I know the whole team will keep working as hard as they can for me, and for each other.
2) 2017 marked your first outing in IndyCar, competing in the Indy 500. What is it like being involved in the IndyCar Series?
Competing at this level is what I’ve worked towards since I was nine years old - I absolutely love IndyCar racing. It can be incredibly frustrating when you catch a yellow wrong like we did at Portland, but it creates opportunities that could go either way and that’s what makes it exciting. I like the fact that you can never predict who will win, or honestly even how the top ten will pan out!
3) How do you feel IndyCar is received amongst the motorsport community and its fan base?
IndyCar is most certainly on the up. There is such a great atmosphere around the series with some great teams and drivers. Hopefully we can remain a part of the series for many years to come!
4) What is your greatest racing achievement this season and why?
Despite only competing in six races, there have been a lot of great moments. My personal favourite was going three-wide for the win at the 500. I’ve always said if I was in that situation I’d go for it, so I wanted to make sure those weren’t just words. Granted, we didn’t get result we wanted in the end, but we showed everyone what we are prepared to put on the line for a big event. To be so close to winning the biggest race of year showed what potential our team has and hopefully we can put ourselves in that situation again!
5) What was the toughest moment of this season, and why?
I think that our under par weekend at Mid-Ohio was the biggest sting of the year. We all so badly wanted to have a great weekend with it being Michael’s home race and so many of his family and friends were there supporting us. We will hopefully be able to make up for the disappointment next season.
6) In an ideal world, you would of course love to compete in the whole season. What are the challenges of only doing a partial season?
The challenges extend to the team as much as the driver. On my side, not being in the car as often means things don’t feel as familiar; it’s harder to extract the minute details from the car, which is ultimately what generates the quicker lap times. It’s the same challenge for the team, too. Having far less track time means they aren’t doing things like IndyCar pit stops every weekend, which puts us at a disadvantage.
We saw a decent upturn in our results from Mid-Ohio to Sonoma, and I would credit some of that to the fact that we were consistently in the car. When the majority of the other drivers in the series are racing week in, week out and you’re not, the difference in track time is quite high and it will affect the results. If we could do a whole season then it would be fantastic, not just for me but for the whole team, and I think we could surprise some people with what we could achieve.
7) What are your racing plans for next season?
My plans for 2019 aren’t 100% confirmed yet. Michael has committed to six races but is working on trying to make ten races happen. As a driver I would of course love to do as many races as possible – I’m available for every single race of next year’s IndyCar season so I will be there ready and waiting when I get the call!
8) What are your aims and objectives for next season?
The goal is to keep improving in every department. To learn from this season and keep moving forwards and getting better as a team. There are elements that I can improve on and elements the team can improve on, and together we will try and find the best solutions and make the necessary changes. We have the potential to be regularly running in the top ten, so that’s one aim that we are working on fulfilling next season.
9) What are your long-term racing objectives?
Ultimately, it’s to win the IndyCar Series Championship and the 500. They are high targets, but we want to aim high and try and achieve them. This year we were close to the 500 and so we want to build on that and keep pushing and progressing. Another objective is to be in this sport for a long time to come. I love racing in this series and want to continue for many years.
10) What was your favourite track you visited this year and why?
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval - hands down! The track represents everything we love about IndyCar – the excitement of the fans, the grandeur of the event, the gravitas of winning the event. It’s incredible to see 350,000 plus people in a very small space. The way that Indy as a city embraces the race is just incredible. Honestly, to have any other track as a favourite just wouldn’t make sense!
11) How do you think your decision to race in the US has been received by your peers and home fans?
I hope that it has been received well. I have absolutely loved my time in America so far. I miss Lincoln and being at home a huge amount and I try and get back as much as I can. Hopefully everyone back home can see that my move to the States has gone well and that I’m aiming to bring a little bit of Lincoln pride to the other side of the pond. Hopefully, as the IndyCar Series continues, the interest will just need growing… and then it’s down to me and the team to get the results that will make everyone proud of this Lincolnshire lad!
Mike Shank, Team Principal & Co-Owner of Meyer Shank Racing:
1) You’ve known Jack for a number of years now, how would you describe him as an individual and as a racing driver?
Jack is outstanding with people, fans and sponsors, and he treats everyone with great respect and always has time for everyone. As a driver, Jack has a very high level of experience and race craft. Jack has ticked all the boxes and earned his way into IndyCar.
2) Contesting only a partial season comes with its own challenges for both the team and the driver, what are your opinions on Jack’s performance this season?
Getting parachuted into a championship is VERY hard. Jack has a lot of pressure on him and has performed very well and is getting stronger every time we go out with the car. He is dead on my target for him.
3) Jack has a multi-year contract with the team, what are the plans for next season?
We are committed to running six races as of today. Our goal is to run ten, and we are very close to doing that. We hope to announce our plans soon.
Notes to Editors
Background information on Jack and the associated companies involved may be found in our For Press section.