Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey in the No.60 AutoNation Sirius XM Honda says it’s massive having Helio Castroneves as his teammate for the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season. Harvey will drive full-time in 2021 while Castroneves will drive the No.06 Honda for a number of races including the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.
Speaking to Paddock Eye during IndyCar Media Day of Friday, Harvey said:
It’s massive, mate. How often do you get to be teammates with a guy who’s won the Indy 500 three times? I got asked it earlier and the question was what are you most excited about, and I said the thing I’m most excited about is trying to ask him how did you win the Indy 500. What exactly little bits went your way, what didn’t go your way on the years you didn’t win it. I just want to be a sponge. I just want to learn as much as I can from him.
I think Helio is an incredibly nice guy. He’s extremely genuine. He brings a positive and vibrant energy with him, and one of the reasons I think he’s genuine is before I didn’t know him I saw him on camera and I don’t mind saying that I didn’t know if that’s how he really was or if he just turned it on, and that’s how he is. He’s just a really fun guy. He’s incredibly kind, and he’s an absolutely epic racing driver, and it’s probably the thing I’ve most enjoyed about working with him so far is his enthusiasm and his passion still for racing.
I mean, what is he, mid-40s. He’s had a career that most people would be extremely just satisfied with. I mean, I would be probably at his age. But seeing him test at Laguna before we got in a car is like a kid in a candy shop again, just that raw passion just for being back in the car and racing an INDYCAR is so great.
I think the way that Meyer Shank Racing has grown and is developing, the fact that people like Helio are so excited to come and be a part of the team makes you feel like everything is heading in a really great direction.
So huge amount of confidence. We all know how good he is at Indy. Obviously I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. Obviously we still want to try and compete the best we can with each other, but I feel lucky to be able to getting to know Helio now as Helio the person, Helio the racing driver and kind of everything in between, as well.
I think he was actually my first choice — when Michael told me they were looking to maybe expand, he was who I said I really looked for as a teammate and I’m really grateful they went that direction.
Speaking about the additional investment in the team from Liberty Media, Harvey said:
I mean, kind of inevitably right. Everybody wants to have really great success. I thought last year we had a lot of really great things to like build on. I’m not going to say we had a ton of bad luck. I don’t think we had too many things particularly fall our way, but I do believe across a season things ebb and flow and they probably balance out. What I’d like to see us do this year would be to really capitalize on the good stuff and really make sure we make it pay and limit the bad. I think if we do that, what we can achieve at the end of the year will be something really great.
It’s really difficult to put on, hey, we have to finish top 3, top 5, top 10 because if you look at the depth in the INDYCAR field right now, it is strong. I mean, I can’t think of a time — bearing in mind I think I say this every year, but I can’t think of a time where the depth in the field has been as strong as it is from top to bottom. I think because of that, it’s obviously going to be really difficult, but everybody at Meyer Shank Racing, myself included, believe we can really improve on last year and try and do something great. That’s going to be the goal.
Does it change because of the investment? I mean, probably. But never in a way where any pressure is being applied in a negative way. I want to do well for the team in a year where we have got a new shop, and there’s so many exciting things going, it seems like a good year to do something awesome on the track.