Slipstream Network

Shank: ‘There’s a Lot of Talks’ Regarding IndyCar Program

Michael Shank Racing confirmed its interest in expanding involvement within the Verizon IndyCar Series in the near future. Team owner, Michael Shank, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Slipstream Network set to release Wednesday morning.

The Ohio-based team made its IndyCar debut in this year’s Indianapolis 500 with British driver, Jack Harvey, via an affiliation with Andretti Autosport. Despite a DNF in the 101st running, Shank’s entry delivered promising results and turned multiple heads within the IndyCar community.  Shank previously owned a pair of Dallara IR-12 chassis with intentions to compete full-time in IndyCar before turning up unable to secure an engine program. Shank’s fulfillment of his long-time goal to compete within IndyCar boosted the team’s reputation among the paddock, he felt.

“We showed enough people that we’re definitely a professional, capable team,” Shank said. “We can win races. We pay our bills. We do all those things that seem simple and basic. But, I’m telling you; in our world, that’s a challenge.”

Asked what it would take to consider a more in-depth plunge to the Verizon IndyCar Series with a full-season commitment, Shank holds only two requirements: an alliance and a budget.

“There’s two things you have to have,” he said. “An alliance with a proven team to start with (because) to come in there and expect to be on par with all the big teams—it’s a pipe dream to be honest.”

The budget, Shank continued, “has to be there and has to be proper for us to even think about. And that’s really just the bottom line.” Shank lamented some teams running unsponsored cars by way of secondary incomes (or similar) for team owners, noting no such option exists for their team.

But is there progression towards a more serious IndyCar program? “There’s a lot of talks. That’s all I can say,” he said.

Shank also did not rule out the potential to make Indianapolis a staple of the team’s portfolio. An annual entry would solidify his involvement with the series and possibly lead to more opportunities. “If we could do Indy every year and I keep the sports car gig going as good as it is, I’d be okay with it.”

“I love IndyCar and I love IndyCar racing,” he said.

Listen to Michael Shank’s full remarks on his IndyCar endeavor, as well as his factory-backed Acura NSX program in IMSA, on Slipstream Network’s Sports Car America.

Zach Wenzel