Four runner-up finishes in five races is nothing to scoff at to start a season.
Yet for Jack Harvey and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, four runner-ups in five races have provided a sense of “oh so close, but no cigar” thus far to open their second Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires together.
Harvey banked another pair of P2s this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park after kicking off the season the same way at St. Petersburg. The interlude, at Long Beach, saw Harvey secure an important pole position but get taken out on the first lap.
Still, compared to where he and the team were last year at this time, he’s feeling better about where they are at now.
“We’re getting the momentum every race, but it seems Juncos is as well,” Harvey said post-race at Barber. “I think we’re quite a long way ahead of where we were last year. We have a great team of people here.
“Simply, we weren’t quick enough this weekend. Spencer (Pigot) and Juncos were the people to beat all weekend. All we can do is congratulate the people who beat us and try to turn the tables heading into in my opinion the best month in motorsport. That would be a great place to get our first win of the season.”
Harvey expanded in a one-on-one interview on how gutting the Long Beach DNF was, after Kyle Kaiser made contact with him at Turn 1 on the first lap, but also noted how impressed he was with his team.
“Ultimately we have had four podiums out of five,” Harvey told MotorSportsTalk. “The thing I get frustrated about (at Long Beach) was that it was a disappointment through no fault of our own. I think that’s the thing.
“But you can’t get too annoyed or downbeat. It happened, so fine, deal with it and work a bit harder. Overall we had a very solid weekend with two second places. There’s a lot of guys who would take that. It just shows Spencer was quicker.”
Harvey is bullish heading into the month of May at Indianapolis. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Harvey didn’t win – he came third and second – but said this was where the team began to hit its stride in 2014.
“Indy we were very strong last year; that was kind of the resurgence of our 2014 season,” he said. “The team has a good base setup and we know we can be fast. We know how we need to improve but figure out what process we need to do to get there.”
The other thing Harvey has been impressed with, year-to-year, has been the overall competition upgrade in the series. Besides Schmidt Peterson, the caliber of effort from series newcomers Juncos and Carlin has raised the collective game.
“This year, there’s not been one team that’s dominated,” Harvey said. “St. Petersburg, it was clearly Carlin. Long Beach we went there and we were on the pole. We came here and Spencer is on pole for both and wins both.
“There are a lot of good teams and every weekend will be different.
“If there’s days where we are only good for third we need to come second, and if there’s days we are good enough to win, we need to win. I think that’s where we are at right now.”