There will be a new full-time team on the NTT IndyCar Series grid for 2020, but they will be familiar faces.
As had been anticipated for the last couple of seasons, Meyer Shank Racing announced late last week that they will be on track for all 17 events next season, with Jack Harvey at the controls of the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Radio Honda. Harvey and MSR ran 10 races this past season, posting four Top 10 finishes, including a third-place run in the rain at the Indy GP.
Overall the team has competed in 17 IndyCar events dating back to their first race at the Indianapolis 500 in 2017.
“This is the moment that we all work so extremely hard for,” Harvey said in the team’s press release. “I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to go racing with Meyer Shank Racing, AutoNation and SiriusXM full time. We have shown we can be competitive, and I can’t wait to build on that and get started on another multi-year program with this group. This is the first time in four years I’ll be competing full time, I owe that to Michael (Shank), Jim (Meyer), Marc (Cannon), my manager Bob (Perona) and my family for the support and belief. I’ve never been so excited to go racing.”
With a solid legacy in sports car racing, Michael Shank began looking to put together a team as early as the 2012 Indy 500. He was finally able to put a car on track with Harvey, along with an alliance from Andretti Autosport, in 2017. So far in three attempts the team’s best finish at the 500 came in 2018 when Harvey finished 16th.
Jim Meyer, the CEO of Sirius XM, came on board as a co-owner in 2018, and the team has operated the last two seasons with an alliance with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
In 2020, the team will be again technically aligned with Andretti Autosport.
It’s actually been really cool to have watched this team grow over the last couple of years. Like the IndyCar series itself, which has stuck to a plan of incremental growth, MSR did much the same, slowly building a team from the ground up and throwing their support behind a single driver.
In Harvey, they have a driver who has at times shown to be very quick. In his 10 events in 2019, Harvey qualified in the Top 10 four times and made the Firestone Fast Six twice. He started third and finished third in tough conditions at the Indy GP, then qualified fourth at Portland before being taken out in a Lap 14 incident. Harvey comes from a background in Indy Lights that saw him win six races in 30 starts and finishing second in the points standings in 2014-15.
If the form that Harding Steinbrenner Racing showed this past year in an alliance with Andretti Autosport, is any indication, MSR could be an immediate contender in the IndyCar field. HSR and driver Colton Herta posted two wins (COTA and Laguna), three poles and finished seventh in the final points.
Heading into their first full season, MSR has all it needs: an experienced driver, a solid partnership with AA and a great relationship with its sponsors. Will that lead to success in 2020? We’ll have to find out.
Pit Lane Parley
It’s Matt Hickey’s birthday! Make sure you check out a special PLP birthday episode, where the crew talks about the MSR news and answers listener questions. You can listen here on iTunes.
Photo credit: Stephen King/IndyCar Media