AutoNation and SiriusXM sponsorships fuel expansion with IndyCar program as team builds on IMSA WeatherTech GTD campaign with Acura NSX GT3
(via Michael Shank Racing) – Having developed its strongest commercial sponsorship lineup in team history, Michael Shank Racing announced on Friday its 2018 season plans in a press conference held at the 30th annual PRI Show in Indianapolis. The Ohio-based team will manage its largest racing program to date with a dual campaign in the Verizon IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
After making its IndyCar debut in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with driver Jack Harvey, the team will build on that effort in 2018 with a select schedule of IndyCar events with the talented Briton. As part of a multi-race program with commercial sponsors SiriusXM and AutoNation, America’s Largest Automotive Retailer, the race program will utilize a technical partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM).
Harvey, who scored F3 Championship honors in 2012 ahead of his move to race Stateside, earned runner-up in the Indy Lights championship twice with six race victories for SPM. After making his IndyCar debut with Michael Shank Racing in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, Harvey returned to the cockpit of a Honda-powered machine for the final two IndyCar races of the 2017 season at Watkins Glen and Sonoma with SPM.
The Michael Shank Racing program with Harvey will be Honda powered and will include outings at St. Petersburg, Long Beach, the Indianapolis 500 and Sonoma Raceway.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for this to come together and for everything to be moving forward,” said Harvey. “I had a very positive experience racing for Mike Shank in the Indianapolis 500, and it was great to build on that with SPM in the last two races of the year. Now to be racing for Mike and to also have the support of SPM for this program, it is the best of both worlds for me. I want to do as well as we possibly can for AutoNation and SiriusXM, and I cannot wait for St. Pete to get here.”
AutoNation’s Chief Marketing Officer and EVP, Marc Cannon said, “Jack is a talented, dynamic young driver,” Cannon went on to say, “AutoNation is excited to partner with Jack, SiriusXM and the Michael Shank Racing team.”
“Jack Harvey and Michael Shank Racing are a great team and we are pleased to support them as they expand their IndyCar race schedule,” said Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, SiriusXM. “We were proud to sponsor them in last year’s Indy 500, and we look forward to having SiriusXM represented on the car for several races this coming year, starting with the IndyCar season-opener in St. Petersburg.”
In addition to the commercial program with SiriusXM and AutoNation, Michael Shank Racing is pleased to continue and grow its long-running partnerships with Curb Records, CAP and Associates, Rocky Fork Company, and Roberts Service Group in 2018 as the partners have stepped up to grow their involvement in both the IndyCar and IMSA programs.
“I’m so happy to have everything come together and to be able to make this announcement—there was a ton of work that went into just getting to this point, and of course it is just the start,” said Shank. “This is a very big deal— for me and my wife Mary Beth, and for my race team. We are really excited to have Jack (Harvey) back with us, and very focused on making the most of this multi-year program. It is a big undertaking but I’ve been working on this nonstop, every day for months to have everything in place for us to be able to go out and build a competitive program.”
“Ric, myself and everyone at SPM are really excited for this partnership with Mike Shank, his team and, of course, Jack Harvey who we’re so pleased to welcome back into the organization,” said Sam Schmidt. “We’re really looking forward to working with AutoNation and SiriusXM again as well. We continue to look for ways to strengthen our team and improve our core operations, and we think this multi-year partnership will do just that. Mike’s history in motorsport speaks for itself, and we’re pleased he has decided to expand his INDYCAR program and involving us in that endeavor.”