Indy 500: What does Ohio bring to the famed race?

Indy 500

For the first time, Meyer Shank Racing, just east of Columbus, has two drivers entered in the Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (WDTN) – Mike Shank grew up in Ohio dreaming of being a race car driver. But as the fates would have it, he only drove in one Indycar race and never made the 500. He’s in Indianapolis now as the co-owner of Ohio-based Meyer Shank Racing.

“The way I was raised in central Ohio, conservative financially, tried to make good decisions we could afford,” Shank said. “I want to win. That takes money. Everything for us has been timing [and] ladder series sports cars, now both so it’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.”

Jack Harvey said, “The team is doing so many great things. We’re fighting for it, keep working hard to stay there the team has upward momentum that’s pretty evident right now.”

Most big-time racing teams are based in Indianapolis or Charlotte. But when Meyer Shank grew to 50 employees and needed to expand they stayed close to their roots and broke ground on a new $5 million facility in Pataskala, just east of Columbus to house both their growing Indycar and sports car operations.

Shank said, “l didn’t realize until a little bit later in my life that supporting the local economy, Licking County came to me they were really interested in keep us in town, we weren’t prepared to move away we had enough core infrastructure here felt we could build the same team and didn’t have to uproot anybody.”  

For the first time, Meyer Shank Racing has two drivers entered in the Indy 500. One, an up-and-coming young brit. The other, a racing legend, trying one more time, to join the most exclusive club here at the Indy 500.

At the age of 46, Helio Castroneves is back at the Brickyard with perhaps his last best chance to join AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as the 500’s only four-time winners.

Castroneves said, “Yeah having the group, even though they’re new, the experience they have is absolutely amazing. Mike Shank was able to collect a special group of guys so we just gotta keep it going.”

Harvey said, “I think Helio brings so much experience I’ve just tried to be a sponge [and] learn as much as I can. [He] keeps some back because he wants to win. We’re very in sync to help each other and also the team in the same moment.”

You can watch the Indy 500 live on WDTN Sunday. Coverage begins at 11 am. Join us for the Countdown to Indy Special Sunday morning at 10:30.

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