Indianapolis, Ind. (21 August 2020) – Making his fourth Indianapolis 500 start on Sunday, Jack Harvey will be making an appearance with an all new helmet design which pays homage to close friend and mentor, Pat Kennedy who sadly passed away in April due to the COVID-19 virus.
With a storied history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Kennedy family name has been attached to IndyCar, and more specifically the Indianapolis 500, since the 1930s. Not only sponsoring Indianapolis 500 entries, the Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing Co. was the designated gas tank supplier for the annual 500 mile race.
Attending every Indianapolis 500 since 1963, Kennedy was a previous 500 Festival Director, a board member of the 500 Festival Foundation, on the Citizen’s Committee and was a part of the 500 Mile Old-timers Organization.
Harvey was one of the many relationships that were created through Kennedy’s passion for racing. Taking Harvey in upon his arrival to the US in 2014, Kennedy and his sister Ann Bolin became Harvey’s “pseudo” American parents.
On top of helping raise $30,000 towards Harvey’s 2017 IndyCar campaign, the relationship took a step further and would change Harvey’s IndyCar career forever. An introduction between Harvey and SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer was the result of the Kennedy family’s ambition to help Harvey’s IndyCar career excel. Little did they know, that relationship would not only impact Harvey’s life for the better, but also Meyer Shank Racing’s future as well.
Kennedy attended every 500 that Harvey participated in and cheered him on from the MSR pit box. Despite the outcome, good or bad, the Kennedy’s never stopped showing their support for Harvey.
“When I look back on my career and my life since I’ve been in America, there have been some core people that seem to be instrumental and Pat (Kennedy) was one of them,” said Harvey. “Pat was a huge racing fan, so naturally we bonded over that. He was such a family man and easy to be around, he became someone that I could go to for personal advice as well.”
This year’s Indianapolis 500 will be the first year that Kennedy will not be standing in pit lane cheering Harvey on. To continue his legacy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Harvey replicated one of Kennedy’s helmets, which he will debut on Carb Day and run this Sunday for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
“This is something I knew that I wanted to do for Pat,” said Harvey. “This helmet is a way for me to say ‘Thank You’ for everything that Pat has done for me. He’s turned many laps around IMS, although never in the 500, and this was, in a way, a final tribute to a guy who was instrumental in my life.”
Watch at Harvey makes his fourth Indianapolis 500 start on Sunday, August 23rd with live coverage on NBC starting at 1:00pm ET.