ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – Forgive everyone if Jack Harvey became an after thought with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports this offseason. A lot of fans were following Robert Wickens’ remarkable and inspiring journey from a severe spinal cord injury that was suffered at Pocono last August. You also were treated to a fun new grouping of drivers at SPM between James Hinchcliffe and former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson.
Meanwhile, while all this was going on, you may have missed that Harvey and Shank-Meyer Racing teamed back up with SPM for another year and expanded their program to 10 NTT IndyCar Series races in 2019. Harvey, also dropped 25 pounds of weight and made himself in the best shape of his life. He knows these 10 races are his chances to prove he belongs.
Heading into Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete (12:30 p.m ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network), Harvey is the top dog at SPM. He outqualified his two teammates as Harvey will roll off seventh in the 110 Lap season opener on Sunday. He qualified with a time of 1:00.9531-seconds in his No. 60 Honda.
James Hinchcliffe will start ninth while rookie Marcus Ericsson will roll off 18th. It’s a great start for the England native who has the skill to compete with anyone. If things went his way in Indy Lights, he would have been with SPM a while ago.
In the Indy Lights Series in 2014, he had four wins and 10 podiums in 14 starts. Unfortunately, he lost the championship on a tiebreaker to Gabby Chaves. In 2015, he won two more times but narrowly lost to team orders by Mazda for Spencer Pigot.
After accomplishing so much in two Indy Lights seasons with SPM, why come back for a third? He was ready to move up but needed money to do so. By narrowly missing out on two championships cost him a scholarship.
He took a year off then showed up to Indy in 2017 with Shank. That led to select races last year including the Indy 500 which led to 10 races in 2019. Now, he’s off to a fast start at St. Pete.