One of the strongest performances at Saturday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis went unrewarded. Jack Harvey finished 23rd following a series of setbacks in the pit lane.
Harvey started third and within two corners moved into second place at the expense of Josef Newgarden. He held onto the position, chasing Romain Grosjean, for much of the opening 37 laps of the race.
Having been the highest driver to start on the harder black primary tyre compound, a strategy favoured by eventual winner Rinus VeeKay, Harvey was in a strong position.
“We had a really great start and held P2 for a decent bit,” he said. “The strategy was just great and we had a five-second lead on the guy that ended up winning the race.”
However Harvey’s victory chance came undone at his second routine pit stop when his Meyer Shank mechanics encountered a problem with his right-rear wheel.
“We had a wheel gun fail,” Harvey explained. Compounding his misfortune, that tyre lost air pressure on his out-lap, forcing him to take another pit stop. Race control also issued him a drive-through penalty for an improper pit exit, ruining any chances of a strong finish.
“We talk about it week-in and week-out, that we do this all as a team, and that’s easy to say when you’re having a good weekend,” Harvey reflected. “This is when it matters now, for us all to come together and to reset. The next one is always the important one, whether it’s Indy or Detroit, we’ll be ready.”
This setback came just two weeks after a mechanical failure in the second race of a double-header at Texas Motor Speedway, where Harvey was running in the top five before retiring. Harvey, who was fifth in the IndyCar championship going into that race, has now dropped to 13th in the space of two rounds.
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