Jack Harvey was looking for positives after potentially strong finish in Sunday’s NTT Series IndyCar race at Portland ended with his being torpedoed by Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Harvey was running fourth when Hunter-Reay, who was defending a challenge from team-mate Alexander Rossi, overshot his braking point and slammed into the Meyer Shank car. Harvey was an instant retirement, while Hunter-Reay was able to return to the track after spending 13 laps in the pits undergoing repairs.
“I was so far ahead that I’d deactivated push to pass, because I was clear for the corner,” Harvey told RACER. “I’d already started to turn in, I’d done all my downshifts, and the next thing I know, my spotters like, “inside, inside”, and I’m thinking ‘there’s literally no way a car could be there right now’. Then I got T-boned.”
The race was the ninth of the team’s 10-race program for this year, and its first since Mid-Ohio, where Harvey finished 10th. Harvey admitted that having relatively few opportunities to shine made Portland especially tough to swallow.
“It’s disappointing, because… I don’t want to go on about this all the time because we try not to use it as an excuse or anything, but we don’t do all the races,” he said. “We missed the last two, we come back here and have a great weekend, and the final bit was out of control, and it kind of feels like it got taken away through no mistake or mine or the team’s. It’s disappointing, but the positives are that we’re clearly making progress. We showed this weekend that we can have podium pace, which is great. So, super-disappointing, but we’ll move onto Laguna.”
Despite the outcome, Harvey was encouraged by the pace of the car throughout the weekend, which had culminated in his qualifying fourth.
“Honestly, I thought we’d be between sixth and 10th [in qualifying], so when we snuck into the top six and finished fourth I was like… ‘sporty!’” he said. “So it was maybe a position or two more than we’d expected, but that’s where we want to be. So it was a great weekend in that regard, and everybody at Meyer Shank Racing has done a good job, and things are looking good next year for AutoNation and SiriusXM. So we just need to keep using it as good momentum.”
After the race, Hunter-Reay extended his apologies to Harvey via Twitter: