Fan and family favorites carrying special signage in 104th Running of 500
Pataskala, Ohio (20 August 2020) – The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is a special event for Meyer Shank Racing on many levels. The event marks the fourth entry into the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for the Ohio-based team as Meyer Shank Racing pursues its first full season INDYCAR Series campaign in 2020.
In addition to the commercial programs in place that see the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) entry proudly carry signage of partners AutoNation and SiriusXM, the team is also utilizing its Indianapolis 500 livery of the No. 60 Honda to pay tribute to two important people.
The team has integrated three decals that honor and support the active fight that Shabral Pruett, a friend of the team, is currently waging against cancer and celebrate the life of Pat Kennedy, a key supporter of Jack Harvey.
It was a normal work day for Mike Shank when a fan stopped by earlier this summer for a visit to the MSR headquarters in Pataskala, Ohio. Expressing his appreciation for Mike Shank’s appearances on the Marshall Pruett Podcast, this fan asked if it might be possible to do something special for Pruett’s wife, Shabral, who has inspired many with her fight against breast cancer.
This fan, who has asked to remain anonymous, offered to donate towards Shrabral’s GoFundMe page in exchange for a special tribute decal to be put on the No. 60 MSR Indy Car for the team’s home race at Mid-Ohio. But when the Mid-Ohio event was postponed at the last minute, team co-owner Mike Shank upped the ante and decided to display the special decal during the Indianapolis 500.
The nose of the MSR Indy Car display two decals, one honoring Shabral Pruett and the second, a family crest of the fan that made the donation. The tribute was a logical one, as Pruett’s fight against cancer not only inspired many, but it also connected with several on the team who also appreciated Pruett’s service to the country in her time serving as a US Marine.
The connection also echos the significant efforts being made by MSR primary sponsor AutoNation to build the “DRV PNK” initiative that sees the MSR entry race in pink to support cancer research and treatment.
“We’re honored to have been able to support Shabral on our IndyCar for the 500 this year,” said Shank. “Marshall (Pruett) and I have worked closely over the years and it’s something small that we did. When this fan came into the shop and expressed his gratitude, this was the least we could do for him and for the Pruetts. We are surrounded by some really good people, from our team partners to as you can see in this case, even our fans, who set the bar really high in terms of doing things for others so this is something really cool to be a part of. ”
A family name that has a long association both with racing and especially the Indianapolis 500, the Kennedy’s have a special home at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Not only that, but the Kennedy family have been a major factor in Meyer Shank Racing IndyCar driver Jack Harvey’s daily life since moving to the states in 2014.
Pat Kennedy and his sister Ann Bolin took Harvey in as one of their own, treating him as their own son. The relationship reached a whole new level when the family made the introduction to Harvey and SiriusXM CEO, Jim Meyer. Little did anyone know the transformation that relationship would have for both Harvey and MSR.
Unfortunately in early April, the community suffered a terrible loss as the COVID-19 virus took the life of Pat Kennedy at just 63 years old. Devastated by the loss, Harvey and MSR decided to pay tribute to Kennedy on the team’s Indy Car for the Indianapolis 500.
An all-white Yard of Bricks with “PK” at the center will be displayed on the nose of the No. 60 Indy Car, allowing Kennedy to once again be on track and race with Harvey on Sunday.
“What Pat and Ann did for me when I first moved to the States is something I will never forget,” said Harvey. “They took me under their wing and treated me as one of their own. Without Pat, I wouldn’t be where I am in Indy Car. This Indianapolis 500 drive will 100% be dedicated to Pat Kennedy and for everything he and his family have ever done for me.”