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Shank Expecting to be Racing into December

Meyer Shank Racing team co-owner on the financial need for IMSA, IndyCar to maintain full season calendars…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Meyer Shank Racing team co-owner Michael Shank says he expects they could be racing into December this year, with revised schedules from both IMSA and IndyCar aimed to run full seasons despite disrupted starts to the both 2020 campaigns.

The Ohio-based team, which has full-season entries in both the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and NTT IndyCar Series this year for the first time, is bracing for a busy second-half of the year that is also expected to see unintended clashes between the two leading North American road racing series.

With IMSA in the process of working on contingency plans, including double header weekends, and IndyCar having canceled its first four races of the season, Shank said he holds full trust in both sanctioning bodies to fulfill their seasons, which privateer teams like his own depend on.

“I’ve had lots of conversations with the heads of IMSA and IndyCar,” Shank told Sportscar365. “They’re both doing a great job, in my opinion, in communicating what their plans are and what their intentions are.

“Just that, knowing whether they do it or not, relieves me 20-30 percent.

“It just makes me feel like someone is not letting the ball go. We’re all so invested in this and we’re all affected.

“It’s everybody’s desire on the sports car side to get as much racing. We could be racing into December, easily, in the southern part of the U.S., which I’m all for.

“Both sanctioning bodies have said, ‘Brace your guys. We could be going at this really hard. Don’t expect be at home.'”

Shank explained that sponsorship commitments, which are typically agreed on based on the number of races held, plays a crucial part in his business.

“We all have commitments mostly based on quantity,” he said. “We need to race 10-11 times in IMSA, 17 times in IndyCar and if we don’t do that, then the right thing to do is to give some money back.

“Some contracts call for that, some don’t. But it’s the right thing to do for the long-term relationship.

“If they don’t get the value that we sold them, there should be some negotiation because we should be thinking forward.”

Shank “Not Worried” About Clashes Between IMSA, IndyCar

Shank said he’s not concerned at the busy tail end of the year, which will inevitably see clashes between the two series his team participates in. 

“How about we just make sure we race and let’s deal with whatever we have to deal with,” he said. “Right now we’re looking at not racing. I’m not worried and they shouldn’t be either about clashes.

“Right now I will be grateful if I bunny-hop between events on a weekend. I wouldn’t be complaining. We can function and have enough people and management in place.

“It’s not ideal but combination events appeals to me too and could be really cool.

“I would like us to get together at Detroit [as we’re scheduled to do] and start it from there as a combined group.

“But to expect sanctioning bodies to look out for each other, after this debacle, I think that’s asking way too much.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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