Harvey: Portland IndyCar showed MSR should perform "all the time"

Jack Harvey was left satisfied with his Portland fourth place, but believes the Meyer Shank Racing team should have been clocking results like that throughout the IndyCar season.

Harvey: Portland IndyCar showed MSR should perform "all the time"

Harvey started second and finished fourth in the season’s second round at St. Petersburg, but then suffered a largely miserable run of nine races that emulated much of his ill fortune in 2020.

The Portland race looked like it might be another missed opportunity; despite being third fastest in first practice and fifth fastest in second practice, the qualifying session in between saw him puzzlingly off the pace and lining up only 20th

However, he made up four places on the first lap thanks to one of the first turn collisions, and then was boosted to 10th as Race Control demoted all those who had failed to negotiate the Turn 1/2 chicane.

Thereafter Harvey drove a superb race, showing restraint when needing to save fuel but putting in hot in- and out-laps to deliver fourth place – first of the cars home to run a two-stop strategy.

Two of those he defeated who also completed only two stops were championship contender Josef Newgarden on the same strategy, who finished 0.7s behind him, and long-time race leader Graham Rahal who wound up 10th. 

"We gained about half of our spots by just avoiding the messes down at Turn 1, but honestly the rest we gained through our strategy and speed," Harvey told Autosport.

“The car felt pretty strong, and obviously I wish we could have achieved results like this earlier in the year.

“We went into the race thinking we would run most of the race on blacks [Firestone’s harder primary tyre], but after doing 40 laps in the first stint on reds [softer alternate compound], we thought they were pretty good.

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

"After we ran scrubbed blacks in the middle stint [36 laps], we went back to reds for the final stint [34 laps] and that was a good decision made on the fly. The team asked me what I thought, I agreed, and it worked out well.

“All in all, just a well-executed day, I thought. We had a good strategy but we were flexible enough to change it, mainly because we had the speed. We held off a two-time champion, Josef, which says a lot.”

Harvey admitted he couldn’t help but feel rueful that the MSR team was now improving, following his choice to leave the squad at the end of the season.

“I think we could have had these kinds of results a lot of the time,” said the two-time Indy Lights runner-up.

“To be able to chase a multi-time champion like [Scott] Dixon for third, and hold off another multi-time champ like Newgarden, that’s the kind of thing we should be capable of.

"I do feel we’ve been there plenty of times but just not been able to get the end results.

“This time, nothing went wrong and we showed our potential which we’ve all felt we had. I mean, you could say it’s too little, too late, but hopefully we can close out the season with two more strong performances leading to strong results.

“If we can be strong in every session and not turn shit in qualifying at Laguna Seca and Long Beach, then I think we can do even better.”

shares
comments

Related video

Newgarden: We’re still in the fight, plenty to play for

Previous article

Newgarden: We’re still in the fight, plenty to play for

Next article

Ilott: Portland experience will pay off at Laguna Seca

Ilott: Portland experience will pay off at Laguna Seca
Load comments
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021