Indianapolis, Ind. (21 May 2017) – The two-day Indianapolis 500 qualifying program is in the books as Michael Shank Racing secured 27th on the grid for driver Jack Harvey in the No. 50 Michael Shank Racing Honda Dallara.
On Saturday, Harvey posted a four lap average of 226.894 mph to lock in a position on the Indianapolis 500 grid.
The team effort made more progress on Sunday as Harvey was able to clock a fast lap speed of 231.433 mph on his own in practice.
With positions 10-33 up for grabs and looking to make the most of the opportunity to score a strong position on the grid, Harvey came out of the box strong with a first fast qualifying lap over 228 mph.
But that run was slowed dramatically after he made a glancing contact with the wall at the exit of Turn 2 on his second flying lap. Despite the smeared paint on the side of the car, Harvey kept his nerve to complete his final two laps and a position on the ninth row of the grid for the field of 33 after posting a four lap average of 225.742 mph in the adventurous run.
“We had a little brush with the wall and it was impressive that Jack (Harvey) was able to keep on it,” offered Team Owner Mike Shank. “We freed the car up a lot from yesterday and it was very quick this morning. But in the conditions we had for qualifying, the balance just went away on us, so I am disappointed for Jack. We have been working so hard and I think this run could have been better. Now we will focus on the race. We have a few days this week to get ready and work on getting a really good race balance so that Jack can race with people in traffic.”
“I have no idea how I held on to it – maybe someone looking down from above, honestly,” offered Harvey. “It wasn’t that bad – I hit the wall pretty square and just kind of grazed it and was able to keep going. Our balance wasn’t great. I was a little bit free coming in. It’s disappointing especially considering the speed we had in this morning’s practice session. We were able to run a 231 (mph lap) on our own so we just missed the balance a little bit. It might have been a combination of the change in track temperature and the change in wind but now we’ll just focus on the race.”
LIVE coverage of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11:00 AM ET on ABC, Sunday May 28.