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Shank to Make Indy 500 Debut

Mike Shank confirms Indy 500 deal with Andretti Autosport…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Michael Shank Racing will team with Andretti Autosport to campaign the No. 50 Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport Honda/Dallara with driver Jack Harvey for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.

The collaboration marks the newest chapter for Columbus, Ohio-based Mike Shank, who competed as a driver in the open wheel ranks and made one IndyCar start in 1997 before moving to focus on team ownership.

That focus saw his team flourish in endurance sports car racing, having won the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as leading the race in the team’s first-ever Le Mans 24 Hour start in 2016.

The Michael Shank Racing partnership with Andretti Autosport reflects the culmination of a lifetime of effort, as the team becomes one of the few organizations to contest the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Le Mans 24 Hour, and Indianapolis 500.

“It has been nearly 25 years since my wife Marybeth and I started this race team, so to have this opportunity finally come together—it is huge for us,” said Shank, who oversees the Acura NSX GT3 program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“We have been working to find a way to race in the Indianapolis 500 for years, and I’m grateful that our relationships have developed to put us in this position.

“Ever since we joined the Honda family, we’ve been able to continue to grow as a team and this is a great example of that. We are very excited to be working with the defending champions, and Jack (Harvey) is a very promising talent so we are thrilled to have this opportunity.”

Harvey has two Indy Lights victories to his credit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, scoring victories in both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Freedom 100 on his way to runner-up in the 2015 Indy Lights championship after having won the British F3 championship in 2013.

“As everyone has read, the Month of May is going to be big for us. We’re really excited to be partnering with not only McLaren and Honda for Fernando Alonso, but also with Michael Shank Racing in a joint entry on the No. 50 for Jack Harvey,” said Michael Andretti.

“Michael [Shank] and the partnership with his organization was instrumental in allowing us to run six cars in the 101st Indy 500. The six drivers and engineering teams will work closely together as we defend our win from 2016.”

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. seth

    April 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Bad day for the PR, Alonso overshadows everything

    • Actually read other sites too

      April 12, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Don’t think this would garner less interest with Alonso’s announcement, if anything IndyCar is actually being reported on more than its usual zero here. Without Alonso near zero exposure, with Alonso 2 stories on another all racing site AND a mention on 2 sportscar sites. Were you expecting it to lead the 6 pm Sportscenter or local sportsdesk reports??

  2. Mike

    April 12, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Bad day for Le Mans winner, GTD champion, Indy Lights Champion and NBC Sports Analyst, Townsend Bell. Sorry, PR and F1 titles and all I get it but he deserves a ride over Alonso. x-Factor is he can drive speedways. Not sure FA can. But money, politics and PR is more important. Always is in racing and is even more of a fishbowl in Indycar and F1 and it continues. Indycar has talented drivers, no not all of them, in crappy equipment and teams. Spencer Pigot would be better than half of Andretti’s guys in his equipment. But probably doesn’t have the cash. This has always rang true. Marco should of been gone by now. Just one of many examples that will continue. Helio should of been gone by now too. Hasn’t done much but make more mistakes in the last 2 seasons. But has PR and fans and surely money. Glad to see guys like Vautier have little to show and got to sportscars and do well proving my point. Soap box hope Harvey and Shank do well. Why Harvey? Oh wait don’t ask I don’t want to know the why.

    • David Chaste

      April 12, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Kanaan, Sato and Hinchcliffe should be gone as well. But they have serious marketability foe their backers

      • JJ

        April 12, 2017 at 11:06 pm

        Hinchcliffe…hmmm, when did I hear that name last? Oh, yea, when he just won Long Beach and is consistently in the top 10 week after week.

        • David Chaste

          April 13, 2017 at 1:57 am

          Sorry i meant Kimball. Hinchcliffe should have Kanaan’s seat.

    • Louis

      April 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Spoke to Townsend at Sebring about Indy this year. He said “I haven’t been working to put anything together this year. I’m actually kinda tired so I think it’s about time” he then made a hand gesture that calls it quits. I asked if that meant only Indy car and he said “nope after this year I think it’s time.” So yes he deserves the ride but according to him he’s ready to retire.

      • juneracer

        April 21, 2017 at 7:32 am

        he does a surprisingly good job at Indy. but not stellar in GT. but everyone has there strong suits…

  3. Dave

    April 12, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    This is Kanaan’s last season with Ganassi. Dixon is set to replace him in the NTT data car. If Kanaan can’t bring sponsorship to a new team he will be on the sidelines. Their are very few drivers who get paid in Indycar, if you don’t bring $$$ you don’t get to paly

  4. Chris

    April 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Wow Dave you cant spell play correctly. You all bitch and complain to much. Have a great weekend and go Cadillac and corvette racing.

    • Gaucherie

      April 19, 2017 at 2:02 am

      You missed the comma after “Dave”, the apostrophe in “can’t”, “to” should be “too” and Corvette Racing should be capitalized. But sure, pick up on someone’s keyboard slip.

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