Race dedicated to AutoNation Team Member and DRV PNK supporter Harriet Levin
Pataskala, Ohio (1 June 2020) – With the 2020 NTT INDYCAR season put on hold for nearly three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meyer Shank Racing and Jack Harvey are eager to kick off their first full season INDYCAR campaign with the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday (June 6, 8:00pm ET NBC).
Years in the making, Meyer Shank Racing and Harvey developed a full season INDYCAR campaign starting in 2020 thanks to the much-appreciated efforts of team partners, AutoNation and SiriusXM.
The ambition to start the season on a fast note was thwarted when the St. Petersburg event was shut down due to COVID-19. Meyer Shank Racing followed the strict protocols in the months that followed to keep the team safe, and will arrive in Texas with a clear focus on performance to launch the 2020 season.
Making the most of the down time, Harvey competed in INDYCAR’s six week iRacing challenge to quench his thirst for competition, even if that meant virtually. Having never used iRacing, Harvey tapped into his real world racing skills to pull out a best finish of sixth at Michigan International Speedway and repeated that finish one week later at Twin Ring Motegi.
Hoping that his iRacing luck on ovals will transition to Texas Motor Speedway is what Harvey is looking forward to as he makes his debut at the Forth Worth facility. The pressure will be at an all time high, not only because of TMS’ notoriously grueling under-the-lights events, but the high speed, single day event will only see one practice before qualifying and the race.
“It’s been a long break for us all and I know myself and everyone at MSR are ready to get back on track,” said Harvey. “It was tough to be 100% prepared at St. Pete and not get to run, so I’ve been waiting for this day since March. It will be my first time racing at Texas Motor Speedway and I have a mix of nerves and excitement for it. It’s always an interesting and intense race. It will be a bit of an odd feeling to not have any fans at the Speedway but we will do our best to give everyone watching at home a good show.”
With the event set to be staged without fans on site, Harvey will be aiming to give at-home viewers the best show possible with the Geneseys 300 scheduled for a prime time debut on NBC starting at 8:00pm ET.
“My guys have done a great job staying on top of things during this difficult time,” said Mike Shank. “It’s been hard on us all on all fronts; financially, mentally, physically. I can’t thank everyone on the team and all of our partners for sticking out this tough time with us. We’ve been ready to start this full season campaign, even if that means kicking it off in June.”
The COVID-19 crisis not only effected plans for racing, but it also touched the team personally.
The weekend will be an important race for Harvey who lost a dear friend and supporter, Pat Kennedy, due to COVID-19 in April. Kennedy played an important role in Harvey’s career from the time that he moved to the United States in 2014 to pursue his racing dreams. The Kennedy family helped raise money for Harvey’s 2017 INDYCAR debut, and also introduced him to key partner – and now MSR co-owner – Jim Meyer. It was a cherished relationship for Harvey, and the support that Kennedy provided was priceless. A long time Indy 500 attendee and regular face in the Meyer Shank Racing pits, Kennedy was just 63 years old and will be dearly missed.
The event will also be a special one as Harvey and Meyer Shank Racing continue to promote AutoNation’s DRV PNK campaign – which raises funds and awareness for cancer related causes – by dedicating the race to Harriet Levin. Levin was an AutoNation Team Member and DRV PNK supporter who sadly lost her battle with breast cancer in March.
The Geneseys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway will go green under the lights on Saturday at 8:00pm ET with live coverage on NBC. Radio coverage will also be provided on SiriusXM Ch. 211).