DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Grand Prix after Josef Newgarden’s victory in the Indianapolis 500 gives drivers and teams a fresh start for the rest of the season.
Jack Harvey is grateful for this.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver is 22nd in the rankings with 11 races remaining. He is struggling to keep his job and save his faltering IndyCar career.
For the first time since 1991, the Detroit Grand Prix will be held on a street circuit. He had moved to Belle Isle.
And the trade would give Harvey a better chance to get the points he desperately needs on Sunday.
“We’re probably most grateful for equal opportunity,” Harvey said. “It’s a brand new track and nobody knows what to expect.”
Harvey acknowledged that his experience in Indianapolis was humiliating.
The 30-year-old Briton was displaced from the starting grid. He came back for his final qualifying opportunity and finished 18th.
“We weren’t competitive,” he admitted. “You had to quickly define what the problems were and how we were going to solve them.”
Duck O’Ward was not amused either.
The Mexican looked to be in a good position to win the Indy 500 until Newgarden made a restart as O’Ward and Marcus Ericsson’s tires made contact.
Thus, O’Ward’s car ended up crashing into a wall.
After the race, O’Ward vowed that he would never forget what Ericsson had done. Five days later, the Arrows McLaren driver did not want to fuel a feud with another Chip Ganassi Racing driver.
“He was also going for the win like me,” he justified. “But I think I deserve more respect. I’ve always given it to him and I haven’t gotten it”.
In the previous year’s Indianapolis 500, won by Ericsson, some of O’Ward’s critics said he had not made a more aggressive move to win and settled for second.
In the seventh race of this season, Ericsson is behind only one other teammate in the championship, Spain’s Alex Pallo, and just ahead of O’Ward.