MOTOR RACING: Harvey’s Indy 500 debut ends frustratingly early

Jack Harvey on track at the 'Brickyard'.
Jack Harvey on track at the 'Brickyard'.
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Jack Harvey’s debut Indianapolis 500 came to a frustrating and early end on Sunday after he was caught up in another car’s accident and forced to retire.

With 133 laps yet to go in the 500-mile event, Conor Daly attempted an outside pass in turn three, but lost control and made contact with the wall. The debris from the contact forced Jack off the track as the car made contact with the inside wall, ending the day for the promising Bassingham racing driver in his first ever Verizon IndyCar Series race start.

Despite the early retirement, the rookie driver impressed at his first-ever outing in the 500. After starting from 27th in the field, Harvey got into a solid rhythm early in the race, moving up to 23rd in the early going and hitting his marks in his opening two pit stops, with excellent in and out laps helping him move up to run as high as 15th.

Following a red flag and restart, Harvey – who started his career racing karts at Fulbeck and Brandon – was looking to move up as he had in the early stages of the race. But on lap 67, that progress was halted after the debris forced him off track and ended the day.

“There was a whole bunch of debris on the track – I hit some of it and the car spun,” said Harvey. “It’s disappointing because we worked so hard to get here, so to have the day end like this is heartbreaking. Despite the premature end to my first Indianapolis 500, this was still the best experience I’ve ever had. The Indianapolis 500 represents so much in the state of Indiana and to the racing world, but it just didn’t go the right way for us today.

“I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to my family and friends who supported me on this journey, the entire Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport team, my partners who came onboard to make this race happen for me, and to everyone back in the UK for their amazing ongoing support.”

Harvey’s team owner Mike Shank said it was disappointing to have their race ended in such a fashion: “To have that be the cause that ended our day, it’s frustrating. I feel bad for Jack and the whole team that did so much work.

“We were up to 20th on that restart, which was great. It was still early in the race and Jack was doing an excellent job.”