Jack Harvey has had a better start to this IndyCar season than any he has had before, raising some eyebrows along the way with his aggressive driving style.
2021 marks Harvey’s second full season in IndyCar, although he has been competing in the series at least part time since 2017.
The British driver has been the sole driver for Meyer Shank Racing’s IndyCar program, and both he and the team are hungrier than ever to break out of the perception that they are a small outfit that can’t compete for wins.
Currently sitting 10th in the points, Harvey has become more aggressive in his driving style in order to make his presence known on the track.
In particular, there were a couple defensive moves at the recent double-header from Texas Motor Speedway that garnered some attention as being borderline too aggressive.
But Harvey has made it clear that he is not racing to make friends, and he intends to keep up his strong driving style as he pushes towards ever better results.
“I certainly didn’t do go into the [Texas] weekend trying to by hyper-aggressive or anything like that,” said Harvey. “It’s just that the opportunity was there and we went for it.
“I thought it was amazing how everyone just so easily expects to poke their nose up the inside and get given the corner. Certainly we’re not going to be hyper-aggressive, but we’re not going to be pushovers.
“I think we know where that barrier and that line is. I don’t see any reason to change that approach. We’re not patting each other on the back or anything like that, we just did what we all expect to do.
“We don’t want to be pushed around on track. I was running the other day, and Twister Sister came on and it was the song ‘We’re not gonna take it,’ and I just thought it seemed pretty appropriate after the other weekend when we made so many friends on track.
“One thing I think everyone so easily overlooks is if I hadn’t made some of those moves, I would have to go and then talk to Michael [Shank] and Jim [Meyer] and explain, ‘Why am I not being aggressive? Why am I not getting after it?’ They are not fun conversations to have either.
“I’m not here to be everyone’s best friend. I’m here to try to get good results, make the team proud, and make our partners proud.”
Meyer Shank Racing has been growing its program over the past few years, and is now at the point where it can easily manage an IMSA race and an IndyCar race on the same weekend.
The team also partners with Andretti Autosport and has access to even more resources that allows it to compete right at the start of each weekend.
Team Owner Mike Shank approves of the aggression on track and sees it as a way to earn respect that he feels the team well deserves at this point.
“We’re not going to get freaking pushed around,” said Shank. “We’re not going to get shoved, period.
“On the IndyCar side, I think it comes from maybe a little lack of respect. And that’s the pet peeve of my life is respect. Whatever Jack’s gotta do, I’ll support it.
“We just gotta get some closing done. We gotta get some wins. We gotta keep standing on the podium with both programs, and earn the respect that I’ve had to do all my life.”
Harvey and Meyer Shank Racing will visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course this weekend and will continue their efforts to break in to the top ranks.
Harvey has done well at the track in past years, earning three top 10s on the 2.4-mile circuit, including his only IndyCar podium in 2019.