After starting in second place for the third time in his IndyCar career, Jack Harvey managed to get his second top-five finish in NTT IndyCar Series competition with a fourth-place result at Sunday’s (April 25) Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Harvey slotted in behind eventual race winner Colton Herta at the start of the race and kept chasing the 21-year-old.
After running in second place for the first 30 laps of the 100-lap race on the 1.8-mile street circuit, Harvey fell victim to Josef Newgarden on lap 31 and the No. 60 Autonation/SiriusXM Honda fell to third, where Harvey would remain until his first pit stop three laps later.
After the first round of pit stops, Harvey dropped to fourth behind Simon Pagenaud and stayed there for the rest of the race, finishing just under two seconds behind Pagenaud and less than a second ahead of six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. The result is Harvey’s first top-five result on a street circuit and first top-1o finish on city streets since the 2019 St. Petersburg race.
“I think that was a solid day,” said Harvey in a team release. “Obviously, when you start on the front row, you want a podium. But, overall, the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda was working really well. It would have been awesome to be on the podium in AutoNation’s home race, but it’s been a really great start to the year, and that’s what we didn’t have last year.
“I’m really happy with everyone at Meyer Shank Racing. They have been working their butts off to have these results. We’ve been close to a pole, and to a podium today. If we keep working at it, those things will come.”
Harvey’s journey with Meyer Shank Racing has been marked with a series of measured growth and growing expectations. With two part-time seasons culminating in a third-place finish at the 2019 INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, both team and driver went full time IndyCar racing in 2020 with six top-10 finishes. They started in the top 10 in all but three races, raising expectations for 2021.
Harvey’s result jumps him to sixth in points, just 16 behind points leader Alex Palou.
“Jack did an awesome job today,” team co-owner Michael Shank said in a team release. “We lost a bit of pace towards the end of our stint on reds but we knew that Jack was really strong on blacks which is why we decided to finish the race that way. These are the types of results that we need to be getting this year. To start off the season this way is great for morale heading into the rest of the season.”
The NTT IndyCar Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend for a doubleheader. The Genesys 300 will kick things off on Saturday, May 1 at 7 p.m. ET with television coverage provided by NBCSN.
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