IndyCar driver Jack Harvey will be desperate to keep up to speed with his beloved Lincoln City during Sunday’s League One play-off final.
But hurtling around a racetrack at 230mph is not the sort of thing you can do with your mind only half on the job.
When Harvey lines up for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 – the most prestigious American open-wheeled race – Wembley thoughts will have to be put on the backburner.
That will be a tough ask for the 28-year-old as the Imps take on Blackpool for a place in the Championship, with the race start time very close to the scheduled full-time whistle in London.
But Harvey, who grew up in the village of Bassingham, near Lincoln, has a plan. His pit crew and mechanics at the Meyer Shank Racing team have been primed after seeing how he dealt with the nervy two-legged semi-final win over Sunderland.
“I will know what’s going on, that’s for sure,” he told BBC Radio Lincolnshire. “I have prepped a few people and told them to keep me updated.
“I was following at the weekend [in the second leg against the Black Cats]. I was sweating in that first half and I was sweating bad and to be able to come out with an aggregate win was awesome.”
Harvey’s histrionics as the Imps saw off Sunderland led to some pretty quizzical looks from his team as they tried to get their heads around the significance of a potential promotion.
He gave up trying to explain the “promotion and relegation stuff”.
“‘Look, you guys don’t have it and I haven’t got time to explain it’,” he said. “‘Just leave me alone, I’m happy!’ I remember when they last got promoted and we had stickers on the car.
“But even if it doesn’t happen, I think we have over-achieved this season.”
There’s an element of over-achievement about Harvey’s steady progress and success during four seasons with Meyer Shank Racing.
He earned his first ever IndyCar podium finish in the 2019 season and in 2020 he made back-to-back front row starts at the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Road America races, ending the season with six top-10 finishes.
“Last season and this season we are showing everybody that we are competitive in IndyCar racing,” said Harvey. “I feel without some of the bad luck we have had, we could easily be top five in points.”
‘Someone is going to win and why not us?’
Harvey starts Sunday’s race in 20th place following last weekend’s qualifying and is 13th in the IndyCar driver standings.
He finished ninth in last year’s Indy 500, 21st in 2019 and 16th in 2018. He has high hopes for the 105th edition, in which reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon starts from pole position.
The 500-mile race around a 2.5-mile oval track is quite simply one of biggest races in the world.
“If we actually won I don’t know how many people would be totally shocked – especially this year with the performances we have put in,” he added.
“The more opportunities I get in IndyCar the more I feel I can keep grasping them with both hands.
“Someone is going to win that race and why not us? And that’s the same for the players going into the game at Wembley. There is going to be a winning team.
“There’s really no pressure because I don’t think they expected to be there this season and the whole of Lincoln is behind them no matter what happens because that is how ‘Yellowbellys’ are.
“It would be great to see Lincoln play in the Championship.”
Interview by BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Rob Makepeace