Mike Shank says the addition of Helio Castroneves to Meyer Shank Racing’s expanded IndyCar team alongside the returning Jack Harvey is the next step in the steady process of expansion for the team he co-owns with Jim Meyer.
Tuesday’s official announcement of the six-race IndyCar program for Castroneves, first reported by RACER on Monday, comes a month after MSR announced its partnership with Liberty Media Corporation, which had made a minority investment in the team. MSR and Harvey first paired in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and built a six-race program for the 2018 season, growing to a 10-event 2019 campaign before making a full-season run in 2020. That same approach is being utilized as the team continues to grow for 2021.
“We’re really excited to have Helio come onboard with us next year,” said Shank (pictured above). “The idea to start off with six races for the second IndyCar was another strategic plan. As I’ve always said in the past, we will never bite off more than we can chew. It’s always been one of our goals to expand the IndyCar program, and this is the best way that we can start that. Of course the goal is to have two full-season cars.”
Castroneves will drive the team’s No. 06 Honda at Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach, the Indianapolis 500, and Indy GP, Portland and the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The Brazilian has previous experience with the team, having raced for MSR’s sports car program in the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“I’m super excited to be joining Meyer Shank Racing for six IndyCar races next year,” said Castroneves. Mike and I know each other from a long time ago and I raced with the team at Daytona. Now, with Jim (Meyer), Mike and Jack (Harvey), all three of us I feel like we have great potential. I can’t thank enough Team Penske for all of these years with them, but now it’s a new chapter in my life and I’m excited to join MSR and an incredible group of friends.”
Harvey, too, is eager to draw on the experience of his new teammate for what will be the Briton’s second full-season IndyCar campaign in 2021.
“I’m really excited to build on the progress that we made this year and bring that into 2021,” said Harvey. “We’ve had so much potential, but had such bad luck in so many of the races this year that I’m just excited to start fresh. I’m confident that next year we can push for some podiums and race wins based off of the pace that we had this year.
“Having Helio, he will be a fantastic addition to the team. He’s a three-time Indy 500 winner and he’s a living legend really, so it’s pretty great that I will get to work with him and be teammates with someone who has that level of experience. I see this as a way to strengthen the team. I’m excited to get going again and 2021 cannot come soon enough.”
The team recently broke ground on a new 45,000 square foot facility in Pataskala, Ohio, and will continue to develop its competition programs in both IndyCar and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champoinship, where for 2021 the team also continue its relationship with Acura and HPD to field the Acura ARX-05 DPi.