Indy notes: Harvey’s Indianapolis 500 entry unveiled

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Evidence of the collaboration between two of the more successful motorsports operations – Andretti Autosport and Michael Shank Racing – was unveiled today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when Jack Harvey’s car for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil was revealed for the first time.

The No. 50 Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport Honda, with its black, pink and yellow livery, features sponsorship from longtime Andretti Autosport partner AutoNation as well as CAP & Associates, Gap Guard, Roberts Service Group and Sirius XM. Harvey, a two-time Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship runner-up, seeks to make his Indy 500 and Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the May 28 race.

“We’re super excited to unveil the car,” said Harvey, 24. “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time and I’m glad we’re finally able to present it with all our sponsors and partners. It’s been a long-time in the making, I think about 18 months for me.”

Shank, whose Ohio-based sports car operation has six wins including the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race, is realizing a dream come true to enter a car in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“The yearning to do the Indianapolis 500 has always been there,” said Shank, who ran a team in the lower-level Formula Atlantic open-wheel series before shifting to sports cars. “To be able to do this after all these years, especially after going up the open-wheel route that we were going for 10-12 years and then deviating into sports cars, it is incredible. 

“When I drive into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, through the gates and over to Gasoline Alley, it means a lot to me. And it’s not just me and my family. It’s giving everybody here who’s been working on my team for so long an opportunity to do what I think is the greatest race in the world.”

The Shank/Andretti collaboration was initially prepared to field a car for Stefan Wilson, whose late brother Justin was part of the winning Rolex team in 2012. But when the opportunity arose for Fernando Alonso to drive an Andretti car in this year’s Indy 500, Stefan Wilson graciously stepped aside and Harvey became the driver designated for the Shank/Andretti operation.

The car’s number is in honor of the 50 million customers AutoNation has served. The pink livery is part of AutoNation’s Drive Pink campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer.

Wilson cheers patients at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital

Stefan WilsonHe may not be racing in this year’s Indianapolis 500, but Stefan Wilson made a valuable pit stop nonetheless when he visited Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

The Brit visited dozens of young patients as part of the Racing For Kids program that takes INDYCAR drivers to children’s hospitals in all markets where the Verizon IndyCar Series competes. Wilson moved from room to room, brightening the day for the patients as he talked about his love for racing and the upcoming INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also signed hero cards and caps for the patients and family members.

Wilson also joined Pat Wright, executive director of Racing For Kids, in presenting a "Fregin's Flyer" red wagon – specially outfitted with an IV pole — to hospital president, Dr. Hossain M. Marandi. The wagon will enable bedridden patients to travel more easily around the hospital with their IVs. The wagons are named after Canadian philanthropist Doug Fregin, who is underwriting the wagon program.

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