Belle Isle, Mich. (12 June 2021) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) driver Jack Harvey made his first-ever race start on the streets of Belle Isle on Saturday, racing his way to 16th in the first of two NTT INDYCAR Series races on the weekend.
Gaining speed and experience with every lap on the 2.35-mile Detroit street course, Harvey continued to show improvement on board the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda.
After being slowed by two red flag periods, the race lasted just over three hours.
MSR has IMSA competition experience at the Belle Isle circuit going back to 2012, but Saturday’s race marked the team’s first-ever INDYCAR race start at the track. Looking to learn as quickly as he could in his debut, Harvey had just 75-minutes of practice on Friday ahead of the busy double-header event weekend to get familiar with the bumpy, high speed circuit.
Qualifying on row 10 for Saturday’s Race 1, Harvey took the green flag as the field made it through the initial laps without issue. With ambient temperatures over 85 degrees, the team made a smart strategy call to pit on lap three to switch over to Firestone alternate tires. Once on the harder compound, Harvey made early progress through the first quarter of the race.
Three laps after Harvey’s lap 25 pit stop the race was red flagged to make repairs to the wall after an impact in Turn 6. With the race on hold for nearly an hour to make proper repairs to the wall, the race was restarted with 42 laps remaining.
The strategy call from the team placed Harvey P7 for the restart where he held the No. 60 Indy Car in the top ten through his final stop on Lap 42. A second red flag set up a final six laps to the finish as Harvey restarted from 15th and came home in 16th.
“I’m not really sure I’ve been a part of a race like that before,” said Harvey. “We struggled a bit on restarts and getting the tires up to temperature, that was disappointing and something we need to look at for tomorrow. I thought we were looking pretty good leading up to all the melee. I think we knew that day 1 was going to be a bit tougher, but hopefully we’ll have a better day tomorrow.”
Sunday will stage Qualifying for Race 2 at 9:15am ET. Race 2 is set to go green at 12:50pm ET with live coverage beginning on NBC at 12:00pm ET. SiriusXM will also provide coverage on SiriusXM Ch. 205.