Harvey Qualifies Seventh, Castroneves 23rd
Indianapolis, Ind. (13 August 2021) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) came back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this year, but this time for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix.
In qualifying for Saturday’s 80-lap event, Jack Harvey placed the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda on the fourth row in seventh while Helio Castroneves qualified the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda 23rd on Friday.
It was a welcome return for both Meyer Shank Racing drivers who have triumphed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the recent past. Castroneves most recently collected his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in May with MSR and Harvey captured his first-ever INDYCAR podium at the IMS road course in 2019.
That momentum carried into the Big Machine Spiked Coolers weekend as both Harvey and Castroneves got off to a fast start during practice on Friday. Finding pace on both primary and alternate tires ahead of Friday evening qualifying, Harvey and Castroneves were in a strong position for the 80-lap event finishing practice fourth and 16th respectively.
Both qualifying in Group 1, Harvey and Castroneves began their charge to the top with a new-style, two-group qualifying format. Harvey was strong out of the gate and placed the No. 60 Honda P2 in Group 1 and moved onto the second qualifying session to fight for pole.
Making only his third race start of the season with MSR, Castroneves was unable to lock down a sufficient time to move him into the next group as the Brazilian closed out qualifying P23 with a fast time of 1:11.731-seconds.
The final session of qualifying saw Harvey start out strong and challenge for pole, but ultimately he finished the session seventh after posting a time of 1:10.887-second lap. Out of five starts at the IMS road course, Harvey has never qualified outside of the top ten and has a trio of top three starts.
The Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix is set for Saturday at 12:30pm ET on NBCSN. SiriusXM will also provide live race coverage on Ch. 205.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
Jack Harvey, No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda: “I would have hoped for a little bit more there in the Firestone Fast 12. I don’t super love this qualifying format – I think I prefer the three-stage knockout. Ultimately, we just missed it by a tiny bit and when it’s so close like that session was, a little bit can compound. I’m a little disappointed with where we finished but probably good to be disappointed when you’re P7. We’ll try and have a good race tomorrow, our black-tire pace was strong which will be good for the race. The team and I are looking forward to going for a win tomorrow.”
Helio Castroneves, No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda: “We know that we have been progressing and this morning we thought we had a much better pace than that. In fact, my lap was much better than this. When you’re going through this process [running select races], you’re going to have some inconsistencies, some ups and downs, so at least we went for it. We didn’t want to try and put another set of tires on or things like that but, obviously, not the result that even I was expecting.”