INDIANAPOLIS – The entry list for this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network) is the smallest of the NTT IndyCar Series season. The reason is, a couple of the teams that have shown up at most, if not all, races in 2019 won’t be competing on the streets of Belle Isle.
One noticeable name not on the list is Meyer Shank Racing and their driver Jack Harvey. The team has run all six races this year and currently sit an impressive 13th in the season standings so far. Harvey, sits ahead of two Andretti Autosport cars, both AJ Foyt Racing entries, a Chip Ganassi Racing entry to go along with a strong ride for Colton Herta. That’s saying something.
But, despite a strong podium finish in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 11 and three top 10’s in six races, they’re sitting this race out.
It’s not for the lack of funding or resources, this is just part of the teams plan. See, they initially ran six races in 2018. They built to 10 races in 2019. Next year, they’d like to be full time. But, in order to get to that level, you have to build up and do so the right way.
Team owner Michael Shank told me that their ultimate goal is to be a full time program soon. Even if he had all the funding in the world, he doesn’t think that they’d be full time in 2019 anyways. They want to build this the right way and have the right pieces around them. They don’t want to just jump into the deep end.
Unfortunately though, six of their 10 scheduled races in 2019 were all at the start. The leaves four starts for the final 11 races.
The team will return to action after a two race hiatus at Road America. Then, after sitting out Toronto and Iowa, they will return to the team’s home event at Mid-Ohio in July. From there, they will head west for the final two rounds of the season with outings at Portland International Raceway and the season-ending event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
If those final four races go much like the first six, then MSR and Harvey could be in a big year for 2020 as a full time entrant. The deadline for that decision though will come at some point this summer.