IndyCar

IndyCar: Meyer Shank Racing 2018 Season Review

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Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, MotorSportsTalk will review how each organization in the IndyCar Series performed in 2018 and also taking a look ahead to 2019. We kicked off the series Wednesday with Juncos Racing.

Today, we feature Meyer Shank Racing and driver Jack Harvey.

Meyer Shank Racing 2018 review:

SiriuxXM president Jim Meyer (photo courtesy Meyer Shank Racing).

While no stranger to competitive racing in other forms of motorsports, Michael Shank Racing kicked off its foray into IndyCar racing with the 2017 Indianapolis 500, and then expanded to six races in 2018, also serving as an affiliate of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

One of the biggest elements to the season was bringing on SiriuxXM Satellite Radio President Jim Meyer as a team co-owner and partner, changing the team from Michael Shank Racing to Meyer Shank Racing.

The plan for 2019 is to expand to between 8 and 10 races, with expectations of competing as a full-time team in 2020.

JACK HARVEY

Team name: Meyer Shank Racing

Years in IndyCar: 9 races over two seasons (2017 and 2018)

Career wins and podium finishes: 0 and 0

Best career finish: 12th at Long Beach 2018

2018 final standing: 24th

2018 final stats: 0 wins, 0 podiums, 0 poles

2018 best race finish: 12th at Long Beach

SEASON WRAPUP: Harvey held his own in a number of races during the 2018 season while behind the wheel of the No. 60 SiriusXM/AutoNation Honda. He was only a few laps away from potentially winning the Indianapolis 500 – running as high as second – before he had to pit with two laps remaining for fuel. Had the team’s pit strategy been different, the English driver could potentially have beaten Will Power to the checkered flag. Harvey had several strong runs, but his final finishing position in those races did not reflect his effort.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019: Harvey will be returning to the team next season and is looking forward to competing in an expected 8 to 10 races. The biggest thing Harvey needs is more seat time and experience, but he showed at times in 2018 that he definitely has a bright future in IndyCar.

QUOTE (following season finale at Sonoma): “Overall I think that we had a lot of great moments in the year, but I don’t think we ever got the result that we potential did have or that the team deserved. … I really have to thank everyone from Meyer Shank Racing and SPM (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports). And without AutoNation and SiriusXM, neither of us would be able to get to be here, so really the biggest thanks go to them. I’m optimistic and hopeful that next year we will do more races and have more opportunities to get a better result.”

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Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).