ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – Jack Harvey dropped 25 pounds this offseason to prepare for an expanded schedule in the NTT IndyCar Series.
Forgive everyone if despite that, that he 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, cut weight and made himself in the best shape of his life. He knows these 10 races are his chances to prove he belongs.
Leaving the season opener on Sunday, Harvey showed while he belongs for more than 10 races. Harvey, started seventh for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete and brought his No. 60 Honda home an impressive 10th.
He was around the top 10 all day too.
“As a whole, it’s been a really successful weekend,’ said a happy Harvey. “We had our best finishing position and our best qualifying position. Naturally, when you qualify well the hope is that it will transfer into the race. We can’t say it didn’t because we got our best race finish, but we definitely lacked some pace. The guys did a great job this weekend, we qualified seventh and finished 10th. We said prior to the season that we wanted to qualify in the top 12 and finish in the top ten, so by our own standards that was a great race.”
If things went his way in Indy Lights though, 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.