Harvey was driving through pain at Mid-Ohio

Jack Harvey awoke Saturday morning in Ohio with searing pain firing through his back and neck. The Dale Coyne Racing driver can’t say what happened to cause the issue while he was sleeping, but he’s positive about the effects it had on the rest of his weekend at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

“I was having a lot of physical therapy on Saturday, trying to fix it, but it was way worse on Sunday,” Harvey told RACER. “I spent the whole time between the warmup and the race at IndyCar Medical having had an anti-inflammatory shot and numbing shots, the maximum they could give me before they would have to declare me not able to drive.”

The Briton did his best in qualifying, but the physical nature of driving an IndyCar, which lacks power steering, requires full strength from a driver’s core, back, and arms to attack the corners with more than 4000 pounds of downforce piled onto the four Firestone tires.


Starting 27th, Harvey’s race had nothing to do with the other drivers; it was contained within the cockpit of his No. 18 Honda as he spent the afternoon dueling with his pain threshold.

“I’ve done enough IndyCar races in my life, and I’ve never physically not been able to drive to my full extent,” he said. “But I was gassed in the race. A couple times, I had a few oversteer moments, caught the car, and the pain that shot through my back, with spasms up to my neck and across my shoulders was just something that was unbearable. I was gassed and I was hoping for a yellow, not to catch up with everyone else, but hoping for a breather.”

Harvey refused to concede to the pain and brought the car home safely in 26th.

“I’ve just never had that before,” he said. “Every time I went into Turn 1 and turned the car, it was like a knife going into my back. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve had injuries, I’ve driven with food poisoning, and been tired. But normally the adrenaline takes over. And this time, it just didn’t.

“Then after the race, IndyCar medical picked me up in the pit lane, took me back, added a few more anti-inflammatories in my IV, prescribed me some stuff for this week just to try and help, and I’m feeling better today. But it was a ******* rough weekend, man.”

With just a matter of days until this weekend’s Hy-Vee IndyCar Doubleheader in Iowa begins, Harvey has undergone more physical therapy to try and unwind some of the odd issues in his back and plans to step into the No. 18 and race on the 0.875-mile oval.

“I’m making good progress and obviously we hope to continue that,” he said. “And IndyCar Medical has been a lifesaver. They’re so good because they just care. Obviously, they care about what happens on track, but they care about you and your health and your wellness and being okay. I’ve been in contact several times a day with [IndyCar Medical director] Dr. Julia [Vaizer], and she’s coordinated everything I need with everybody else. So as it stands now, I feel like I’m on a good path to be able to go to Iowa and compete at a good level.”

Harvey wants to race at Iowa for another reason — to stop the three-race string of bad luck that has shuffled the No. 18 Coyne car to the bottom of the Entrants’ championship. A failed suspension component at Road America took away the potential for a top 20 finish and left Harvey in 25th. An engine issue at Laguna Seca resulted in another 25th-place, and with his back acting up at Mid-Ohio, 26th was the best he could deliver.

“I really love this team because they have worked so hard throughout the season, and I do really think we can get some good results on the board if we can just get through a few races without something bad happening to us,” Harvey said. “The potential is there. I’m not saying we’ve been crazy-great, but we’ve had a lot of potential this year to be flying under the radar and getting some good points.

“Everything that could have just gone a little bit wrong has, and with the car not making it in the Indy 500 (with Nolan Siegel), that’s set us back with getting into the Leaders Circle. So that’s what I’m putting my mind towards. If we can qualify inside the top 20 and finish somewhere thereabouts or better, I feel like we have a chance of getting in.”

Story originally appeared on Racer