INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Finally, on the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, rookie driver Jack Harvey hits speeds of more than 220 mph.
“This is a dream,” Harvey said.
The British driver is racing for Andretti Auto Sport with Michael Shank racing, in his very first Indy 500.
“You work hard for months and months and months and suddenly it all comes together. I know how lucky I’ am to be in the Indy 500,” said Harvey.
For Harvey, the path to get to the greatest spectacle in racing was not easy. Most rookies have to come up with their own money and sponsors. The price can be upwards around half a million dollars. But Harvey knew a few Hoosier families, with a love for racing, who were more than willing to help.
“Let’s do some fundraising for him. So we sent out a letter and we sent it to people that would be interested,” said race fan and sponsor Ann Bolin.
Within weeks Ann Bolin, her brother Pat Kennedy and their family and friends raised more than $30,000. One of their friends and also a fellow Hoosier happens to be Jim Meyer, the CEO of Sirius XM. He worked out a huge sponsorship, helping Jack secure his spot in the race.
“He stuck with it and here he is at the Indy 500 this year,” Kennedy said.
The family’s generosity is fueled by their love for racing. Ann and Pat have not missed an Indy 500 race in more than 50 years. Their local company Kennedy Tank and Manufacturing sponsored cars in the Indy 500 back in 1930 through 1950. Now, in 2017 they have another driver in the race.
“It really is the dream coming true for Jack and all of us behind him, because we are so passionate about Jack and his racing and his talent,” said Bolin.
These Hoosier families will be cheering Harvey on Sunday. Jack is driving the number 50 car and will be starting on the outside of row 9 for the 101st running of the Indy 500.