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Harvey to drive No.18, Siegel in No.51 for Coyne at Long Beach

Written by Archie O’Reilly

Jack Harvey will be driving the No.18 car for Dale Coyne Racing in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, despite the team previously announcing a 14-race programme for Harvey that did not include the second points-paying round of the season.

Nolan Siegel was planned to be running the four events that Harvey was not in the No.18 car but he is shifting over to the No.51 entry for Long Beach. Sportscar veteran Colin Braun ran in the No.51 car in St. Petersburg and at the Thermal Club, while Katherine Legge has been confirmed to compete in the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in that entry.

Indy NXT by Firestone sophomore Siegel, who is gaining experience in the NTT IndyCar Series alongside his Road to Indy exploits ahead of a planned full-time move up in 2025, has already run the $1 Million Challenge in the No.18 entry and will make his points-paying debut in Long Beach. He is also partaking in his maiden Indy 500 in that car.

Harvey ran in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, for which Coyne only announced their drivers a matter of days prior. He had tested for the team on the Homestead-Miami roval and the short course at Sebring International Raceway pre-season and went on to qualify 27th in St. Pete but progressed to a 19th-place finish in the race.

“We can work with this platform,” Harvey said after St. Pete. “It’s going to take work - we knew that. We went into the season and into the weekend with our eyes fully open, aware of what the expectations were… We need to work really hard to find some more pace. We know that - we are going to go and push ourselves the best we can to do it.”

When out of the car at the Thermal Club and in the Indy 500 Open Test, Harvey has been on hand to support Coyne’s drivers - including an all-rookie lineup at Thermal.

At Thermal, two weeks on from St. Pete, Siegel caught the eye with a seventh-place finish in a heat race consisting of nine IndyCar race-winners, only just missing out on the main event. The 19-year-old took five podiums, including two victories, in his rookie Indy NXT year in 2023, dominating the opening race of the 2024 season in St. Pete.

“It’s exciting,” Siegel said of his IndyCar opportunity, speaking in St. Pete. “It’s going to be a challenge, for sure. I have one day in the car going to Thermal for the first race weekend. It’s not going to be easy. IndyCar is one of the most competitive race series in the world. 

“I think I’m ready for it. Indy NXT prepares you really well for IndyCar. I’m more excited than nervous. I think it will prepare me well for hopefully 2025 and also for the rest of 2024 in Indy NXT. I think it will be a great experience. I’m going to learn a lot and grow as a driver.”

Braun, coming off a 22nd-place finish - one lap down - in St. Pete, finished 13th in the second heat race at Thermal. He had the slowest time in his qualifying group by shortly over one second in St. Pete, though this was reduced to only four-tenths of a second adrift of the next closest driver on the longer Thermal track.

St. Pete was Braun’s first weekend in an Indy car having only driven the car for the first time at the Sebring test shortly prior, with nine hours of open testing time at Thermal showing the progress he could make with seat time. 

Still, Coyne have opted to try and gain some rhythm and continuity by naming Harvey in the No.18 car and moving Siegel to the No.51 for Long Beach. It remains to be seen whether there will be any further opportunities for Braun with no confirmation as to who will run in the No.51 car for the remainder of the season, barring the Indy 500.


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