Indianapolis, Ind. (30 July 2022) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) faced several challenges during Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Helio Castroneves led the team with an 18th-place finish in No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda, while Simon Pagenaud’s race ended early while in sixth in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda to finish 25th. Pagenaud did set the fastest lap of the race of 1:11.453-seconds.
Pagenaud was hoping to pick up right where he left off, finishing second in the May edition of the IMS road course event. The No. 60 crew was confident in its strategy heading into the event, and it was playing to the team’s favor which saw Pagenaud make it up to sixth position by lap 35.
Unfortunately, just as Pagenaud’s pit window opened for his second stop of the race, the three time IMS road course winner was left stranded on track, without fuel and a mechanical issue. Pagenaud’s race ended early to finish 25th.
Castroneves started 16th, but had a strong jump at the start to gain three positions on the first lap. The No. 06 crew opted to bring Castroneves in for an early stop on lap 10 to switch over to the favored Firestone alternate tires.
He worked his way up to 15th over the course of his second stint, and then pitted on lap 36, anticipating the caution for his stalled teammate. Castroneves returned to the race in 22nd, and gained two positions before a penalty for avoidable contact that sent him back several positions.
Stretching his final pit stop, Castroneves was running third when he pitted with 22 laps remaining. He returned to the fray in 20th, and managed to gain two positions in the run to the checkered flag to finish 18th.
It will be another short turnaround for MSR, with the team competing next weekend in the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville.
“With the No 06 SiriusXM / AutoNation car, we started really well and I had an opportunity on the back stretch with Will (Power) and (David) Malukas. It was incredible, and I don’t know how it wasn’t a big accident. We were about to scuff it out and I was back at 15th or 16th. Then, we had a good strategy trying to save fuel, which was working out, but unfortunately, the yellow came out and that caught us out. I had a penalty as well, that was my bad, and I hit the No. 14 car. So, we lost another 10 seconds. So honestly with all this craziness, 19th is bad but it’s not bad to be honest because it could be much worse. Great job everyone here, and we’ve got to keep going with the process and move forward.”
“The silver lining is that we had the fastest lap of the race today! There are a lot of positives but it doesn’t show in the result. We have made major improvements on the car for our road course package and I’m very excited for when it will all pay off in the end! Maybe Nashville!?”