When Jack Harvey brought his No. 60 Honda home on the podium this past May in the INDYCAR Grand Prix, his boss Mike Shank told me in jubilation that while it’s exciting to finish third at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and while he’d like to run the rest of the season, they were going to stick by their original plan.
That plan was to run the 2017 Indy 500, run six races with the new car in 2018, run 10 races in 2019 and run a full season in 2020. No matter how much success that they had between 2017’s start and a possible full season entrant for 2020, the plan was always the same – no full time until after three years of part time roles.
Shank, wanted to do it right. He also had a sports car team and didn’t want to run a full program just to say they were a full time team. He wanted to find a partner and build it the right way. No need to rush.
While everything was on schedule for that, their partner decided to partner with McLaren and switch from Honda to Chevrolet power. MSR had to remain with Honda. That left them high and dry, but a desirable team for the other Honda teams to partner with.
Not only did they find another partner, they upgraded.
MSR will be in a partnership with Andretti Autosport for 2020 and run a full season. The plans have come to fruition.
MSR will essentially be similar to what Harding was in 2019. In that role, Colton Herta was a rookie won twice, had eight top 10’s and finished seventh in the final standings.
Not only does MSR now become a full time team, they have a partnership with an organization like Andretti. Perfect scenario for them.
Also, many may question why would Andretti, who expanded to five full time cars, run another partnership? Well, it’s simple, there’s more data and loopholes you can work through with an alliance team.