This time last year, Meyer Shank Racing had just one NTT IndyCar race under its belt with Jack Harvey in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda as they headed into the Long Beach weekend.
Fast forward to today, and the team has completed three consecutive race weekends, advanced into second round qualifying twice, scored two top tens and a 13th place finish, and knocked out three days of testing – all a leap in the right direction to kick off a big Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend.
The Long Beach Grand Prix weekend has been a staple on Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) race schedule since the team’s first appearance on the streets of Long Beach in sports car competition in 2006. Since then, MSR has competed in five additional Long Beach events. Having made their IndyCar debut at the track last year, MSR and Harvey are coming back with lessons learned to master the concrete-lined 11-turn, 1.968-mile street circuit.
The 2018 debut saw the team earn a 12th place finish, which marked Harvey’s best result of the 2018 IndyCar season. Having scored an 13th place result at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend, Harvey is looking forward to improving on that this weekend.
“Last year was pretty solid at Long Beach and we had great race pace,” said Harvey, who scored pole at Long Beach in his 2015 Indy Lights race. “I think we had a top five going into the yellow last year. We need to focus on strategy going into the weekend and have a good Friday practice, replicate our usual Saturday – that would be quite good – and then have a slightly better Sunday. Better Sundays for us are having a result inside the top ten. There’s a lot to be encouraged about heading to Long Beach.”
The 2019 Long Beach event holds a special connection for Meyer Shank Racing with Acura named as the title sponsor for the IndyCar weekend. MSR became the first factory Acura GTD team in 2017 competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and has claimed four wins and 12 podiums for the Japanese automotive luxury brand. To continue its relationship with Acura, the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda will feature special Acura branding on its livery for the big event weekend.
“It’s great to see Acura upping its presence in the motorsports community,” said Mike Shank. “It’s a great brand that’s vision aligns so closely with ours and everything that Jon Ikeda has done for motorsports has really benefited the sport as a whole. We’re on our third year with Acura in IMSA and to be able to cross over that relationship into IndyCar is pretty cool. We’re definitely feeling more confident heading into this year’s event. Jack is moving in the direction that we set for this season, so we’re hoping to continue that this weekend.”
In addition to the new branding on the No. 60 Indy Car, the No. 57 Heinricher Racing w/ Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo will also be on display in the convention center atrium along with several other historical Acura Motorsports machines.
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend will have live NBCSN broadcast coverage for qualifying (Saturday, April 13 11:45am PST) and race (Sunday, April 14 1:00pm PST). Also listen into SiriusXM IndyCar Radio coverage on XM Ch. 209 or Online Ch. 907.