Castroneves set to start from ninth row
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (26 February 2022) – Meyer Shank Racing will start sixth and 18th in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the opening race of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
The race marks the launch of the first-ever full-season two car campaign for the Ohio-based team.
Making his first INDYCAR start with the team, Simon Pagenaud will roll off sixth in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda for Sunday’s race start (12:00 PM, NBC), while Helio Castroneves will start 18th in the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda.
Pagenaud advanced to the Firestone Fast Six in the three-stage session on the challenging 1.8-mile temporary circuit. Running under mostly sunny skies and warm 80-degree conditions, the 2016 series champion and 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner ran just three laps in the six-minute final segment to put the No. 60 Honda on the third row.
“So far it has been a great weekend with the Meyer Shank Racing Honda,” said Pagenaud. “Working with the team has been a lot of fun. We’ve made progress every session. This qualifying, we were missing a little bit of front grip to nail that perfect lap. But overall super excited to be in the fast six in our first race. I’m excited and there is more to come. We have a really good race car and that makes me happy for tomorrow.”
Castroneves was ninth in the first group of the opening qualifying segment with a best lap of 1:00.1426-seconds. The four-time Indianapolis 500 winner was atop the charts with two minutes remaining in the 10-minute session, only to fall out of the top six in the closing seconds.
“It is great to be back in St. Petersburg and see a full house with everyone here,” said Castroneves. “It’s a great event. Today the AutoNation / SiriusXM / Arctic Wolf Honda was pretty good, but I didn’t take full advantage particularly on reds. But it was a great effort from everyone on Meyer Shank Racing and now we’ll just focus ahead to see what we can do in the race.”
Meyer Shank Racing enters the 2022 IndyCar campaign equipped with two-full season entries, with the returning support from primary sponsors AutoNation and SiriusXM and newly announced partners Arctic Wolf and Poly.
The season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is set for a green flag start at 12:30pm ET on Sunday with live race coverage on NBC. Radio coverage will also be available on SiriusXM Ch. 160.