INDIANAPOLIS – Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey put everyone on upset alert, each in position late to win the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Neither bid panned out, but the drivers left satisfied with the results Sunday in the second Indy 500 start for each.
A caution on Lap 189 for Tony Kanaan’s crash off Turn 2 opened the possibility to gamble on fuel strategy, with Oriol Servia in the lead followed by Wilson and Harvey. The top three hoped to stretch their fuel for 42 or 43 laps to make it to the finish.
Will Power lined up fourth and was the first in line of those not on such a risky strategy.
As the green flag waved for the restart on Lap 193, Wilson passed Servia to take the lead going into Turn 1, with Harvey following to take the runner-up spot. The two managed to stay ahead of a charging Power, until both were forced to pit for a splash of ethanol on Lap 196, handing over the lead and eventual win to Power.
Wilson, piloting the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives Honda for Andretti Autosport, ended up finishing 15th and led three laps – his first in the Verizon IndyCar Series – in his third career start, second at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Along with his late brother, Justin, they became just the fourth siblings to lead “The Greatest Spectacle Racing’s” illustrious history.
“It’s really emotional, actually,” Stefan Wilson said. “And it’s not because I’m upset or anything, I just feel like this was an incredible month. The team did an amazing job. I can’t thank them enough.
“I just didn’t want to make a mistake. I feel like we did a good job, just came up a little bit short. We needed that yellow. If that would have happened, my dreams would have been made. It’s just been an incredible journey and I’m so thankful to the Andretti team for giving me everything that I needed to do well today. I’m a bit emotional because now the month is over and we’ve got a year to wait and I don’t know if I’m going to get a chance to come back here.
“That’s definitely on my mind: How do I get back here now and do it again?”
Harvey (with team co-owner Michael Shank (left) in photo at left) started 31st and finished 16th in the No. 60 AutoNation SiriusXM Honda for Meyer Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
“I didn’t know how much fuel we had left, so I thought, ‘Well (expletive) it, I’ll at least do the thing I can do the most and that’s control what I’m doing,” Harvey said.
“And I wanted to try and win. I didn’t know exactly if we had enough fuel to make it, but thought it’d be a spectacular move if I can go from third to first. There was room, I went for it and everyone was fair and came out second, but I wanted to let everyone know that I was here to try and do the best I could.”
In the end, Harvey was prouder than anything that the team went all in for the win.
“I said to the team, ‘Don’t apologize to me for trying to win the race,’” Harvey said. “It’s just how that goes.
“We tried our best, we tried to roll the dice and it didn’t quite work out. But it’s the Indy 500 – it’s what we’re here to do.”
Harvey’s next scheduled race in his part-time season is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on July 29.
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action this week at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear – the only doubleheader weekend on the schedule. On-track activities begin Friday, with the first race Saturday afternoon and the second race on Sunday. Both races air at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.