In his first full season of IndyCar racing, Jack Harvey produced six top 10s from 14 races with Meyer Shank Racing, which was good enough to claim 15th in the 2020 championship.
The following year Harvey improved, earning six more top 10s — including a pair of fourths – and fired the No. 60 Honda into the Firestone Fast Six on three occasions, which helped the Briton to climb to 13th in the standings. From there, the call from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and signing of a two-year contract led to a downturn in fortunes for Harvey and MSR, as both have struggled to rediscover their form from 2021.
As MSR heads into a heavy reboot for 2024 where an all-new driver lineup is anticipated, Harvey is also on the hunt for a new team to demonstrate his skills after he and RLL split after the August 11 Brickyard Grand Prix. For the 30-year-old, the new mission is to show the paddock that the guy who qualified on the front row three times and stood on the podium for MSR is still here and ready to perform.
“I’m actively looking for more opportunities to stay in IndyCar because I love this, and it’s the best job — and I hesitate to even call it a ‘job’ — and this is the profession and privilege I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid,” Harvey told RACER.
“I was extremely proud of the job we did at Meyer Shank, and even prouder when RLL asked me to join their team, but it didn’t work out for either of us, and while I would have preferred to finish out the season, I’m at peace with the direction we’ve gone. I can’t sugarcoat things; that’s not who I am, and of course we’re disappointed in how things went, but I really do believe that if I can get back into the right situation, that we can be competitive because we’ve done that before.”
Harvey worked with something like four different engineers while at RLL, which added to the challenge, but as he’s seen demonstrated by Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo who went through a similar disappointing stint with a bigger team, there’s hope for a turnaround ahead.
“I truly enjoyed the David and Goliath thing being with Meyer Shank as a one-car team, one of the smaller teams at that time, and we were pretty consistently in the thick of it,” Harvey said. “I know that’s still possible for me, and If I didn’t believe I could, I’m honest enough with myself to say so, but I’ve no doubt I can do what I’ve done before.
“And I’m human; I’m not made of stone. The last two years have been very difficult. And I’ve gone through emotions and struggles that I haven’t had to before, but you find out who you are in your heart and if you’ve got the strength to push through, which I do. And I’m not comparing myself to Daniel Ricciardo, but I see a lot of similarities in his time at McLaren which was a struggle almost from the outset, and now he’s back in a situation that better works for him and he’s doing well. To have the success that you need at the top level, things have to click and you have to find that groove, which he has. And I’ve had that before, so I’m looking for it again.”
Although a return to MSR isn’t in the works, Harvey is actively hunting leads at other IndyCar teams to ensure his seven years in the series becomes an eighth.
“The priority really is just trying to find a place that I can integrate into the team that hopefully want me to be there, that remembers all the good we did in 2020 and ‘21,” he said. “I do love racing in this series because it’s the best in the world, and it’s absolutely where I want to be.”