Birmingham, Ala. (7 April 2019) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) driver Jack Harvey finished 13th in Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama after starting the third race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar series season from 12th on the grid at Barber Motorsports Park.
Harvey had an impressive opening stanza of the 90-lap race, moving up to third as he stretched the fuel on the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda entry all the way to lap 29. The opening segment plan gave Harvey a number of strategy options for the final two thirds of the race.
Unfortunately, a pit lane speeding violation forced him to pit lane for a drive through and cost the young Briton track position as the race clicked off laps at a furious green-flag pace.
Re-entering the track 22nd in the order, Harvey’s pace helped him advance through the field as the team adjusted strategy to make up lost ground. A lap 57 yellow flag flew as Harvey raced in eighth position, but a subsequent stop saw him cede the lost ground.
On the restart, Harvey was relishing the chance to turn off fuel conservation mode and target a move forward in the closing laps, advancing up to take the checkered flag in 13th.
“I think it’s encouraging that we keep getting decent results, we always just end up a bit disappointed,” said Harvey. “I was a bit disappointed in the drive through penalty, I wasn’t sure what happened there. My pit lane speed limiter just didn’t latch all the way in. I don’t think we nailed the strategy, so it was a bit of a frustrating day. We took away a 13th place result. In the end, it’s all encouraging because we are knocking at the door of transferring into the Fast Six in qualifying and we’ve had two top tens and a 13th place result, so we are right where we want to be we just have yet to put together a perfect weekend.”
The MSR squad has had a fast start to the 2019 season with strong outings for both the IndyCar and IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship sides of the organization as it looks to close out April with a return to top ten form in the Acura Long Beach Grand Prix next weekend.
“We had the strategy and could have been right up in the front,” said Mike Shank. “There are so many factors that need to be put together perfectly, and if one goes wrong, you need to rethink your whole plan. That’s what happened to us today with the drive through and then with that yellow. We are right there and hopefully we can keep making progress and continue to improve at Long Beach.”
MSR will have a quick turnaround as the team heads directly to Long Beach next weekend, April 12-14 for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.