By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — With only a 10 race window to maximize his opportunities, Jack Harvey put himself right in qualifying for the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg by going seventh quickest in knockout qualifying.
The No. 60 SiriusXM/AutoNation Honda advanced out of the first round of qualifying with the sixth fastest time. In the second round of qualifying, Harvey tried as he might but his best lap of 1 minute, 0.9531 seconds was not enough to get him to the final round of qualifying, just .1431 seconds off of advancing to the Firestone Fast Six.
With Harvey only having to races to make his best results from a 17 race schedule due to funding, maximizing his results will be critical, especially at a track that wasn’t kind to him last year with a tire failure sending him into an early retirement.
“We made some changes before the session so it was a bit of stepping into the unknown for qualifying honestly,” said Harvey. “I didn’t know what we were going to have. But the MSR guys stuck with it and it was great to have that pace in qualifying. We’ve got a lot of people here from AutoNation so it is great to show this kind of potential with our pink car. Now I’m just looking forward to the race tomorrow.“
Harvey’s entry is part of a technical alliance between Meyer Shank Racing and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. All three teams share information and Harvey’s direction was the best one as ASPM drivers James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson qualified ninth and 18th, respectively.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be broadcast on NBCSN starting at 12:30 pm with the command to start engines at 1:30.