Most people like to start their work day with coffee. I prefer to start mine with giggly racecar drivers. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports drivers are at a total of 3 this weekend, thanks to Meyer-Shank Racing being present at their home track of Mid-Ohio, with Jack Harvey behind the wheel of the No. 60 Honda.
They all joined us this morning to field some questions and talk about their hopes for Round 13 in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. It was too early for a formal presser according to James Hinchcliffe, leading the charge on the silly vibes and the laughter. What a surprise! He joked about already running late on booking a wedding venue and tipped us off afterwards, that he and his fiance Becky may be getting married during the 2019 season during one of the free weekends between races.
Speaking of race weekends, Hinch commented on the importance of qualifying at Mid-Ohio and explained that as with every other track this year, coming to a place you know with these new kits is like being there for the first time. He’s thankful to have Harvey on board again, praising what he brings to the table and saying that Harvey’s and Meyer-Shank Racing’s integration with SPM has been seamless.
Harvey joked that he feels his being here is more beneficial to him than it probably is to either Hinchcliffe or Robert Wickens, commending them both on their seasons thus far. The Brit admits it’s not easy jumping into races here and there but he’s happy to race any and all Indy car races when given the opportunity. 10 races is the goal for Meyer-Shank Racing in 2019, even though that’s very much a work in progress. Here’s hoping we get to see that come to fruition and grow steadily in the seasons to come.
Harvey won his first North American race here at Mid-Ohio in 2014 when competing in Indy Lights with SPM. He has aspirations to race and finish within the Top 10 this weekend. He also mentioned why this weekend means so much to his team owner, Michael Shank:
“This really is a dream come true for Michael. He’s from Columbus, it’s his home race and we are competing at the highest level in North America. Hopefully we can deliver a good race for the boss at this home track.”
Wickens got his first taste of Mid-Ohio last week at the testing. When asked, he said it went “weirdly well”. His hope is that the setup they found will translate well this weekend. He sounded confident and ready to maybe throw a little more aggression in to his style,
“I think I’m finding my feet pretty well, and it’s time I start giving it back… instead of just taking crap from people.”
Them’s fighting words! Haha, not really, but it is nice to see that fire lit within Wickens. Not that he hasn’t shown that passion since his debut, but it’s kind of exciting to hear that he thinks he’s been holding back a bit, that he has even more to leave out on track. That’s gonna be pretty damn exciting to watch as it unfolds. And we might not have that long to wait, with the 13 turns and 2.25 miles of road course that make up Mid-Ohio, it’s the perfect battleground.