By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Meyer Shank Racing has expanded their IndyCar program and will feature Helio Castroneves for six races in 2021.
A three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, Castroneves joins a program that just completed their first full season in the NTT IndyCar Series with Jack Harvey, who is set to continue his role as MSR’s only full-time pilot in the No. 60 Honda for 2021.
Castroneves, winner of 30 races and 50 poles in North America’s premier open wheel championship, will drive the No. 06 entry beginning at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, followed by the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on August 14, Grand Prix of Portland and the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The opportunity to expand the program comes just one month after Liberty Media, which owns and operates Formula 1, put a minority investment into MSR.
“We’re really excited to have Helio come onboard with us next year,” said team co-owner Mike Shank. “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.”
Although Castroneves spent the past two decades with Team Penske, there is familiarity with MSR as the pair worked together during 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 (Shank) 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 has been a fixture at MSR since its introduction into IndyCar as an Indy 500-only entry in 2017. The team ran a combined 16 races between 2018-19, with a podium coming in a rain-soaked Indy GP on the IMS road course in 2019. In their first full campaign in 2020, Harvey managed six top 10 finishes in 14 races en route to 15th in the championship. Overall, the focus turns into elevating the results next year.
“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.”