Pagenaud caught in mid-race tangle and finishes 19th
LONG BEACH, CA (10 April 2022) – Helio Castroneves took a ninth-place finish for Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) in Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third race of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
Driving the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda, the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner started 14th and made the most of MSR team execution and a well-balanced car to move up to ninth in the 85-lap race. While many of the top contenders experienced problems on the tight 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course, Castroneves capitalized on his clean driving style to gain two additional positions in the final laps of the race.
MSR teammate Simon Pagenaud was not as fortunate as he was credited with a 19th-place result. Pagenaud had strong early weekend pace, topping the charts in first practice. Starting 10th in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda Pagenaud advanced to seventh before making his first pit stop on lap 28.
Unfortunately, with just under 30 laps to go, Pagenaud and another competitor made contact in the tricky fountain section, leaving him stranded off track. Pagenaud was able to restart after the AMR Safety team got him back on track to drive back to the pits. Returning to the race four laps in arrears, Pagenaud gained three positions in the closing laps to take 19th at the checkered flag under the final caution of the event.
Next up for MSR and the IndyCar competitors is the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham on Sunday, May 1. In the provisional championship standings Pagenaud holds 12th with Castroneves 13th.
“The car was pretty good today and we had good pace. It was a typical race here at Long Beach – saving fuel in the beginning, then finding out when the best time to try to move up would be. It’s a shame what happened to Simon, he’s had a heck of a weekend, his car was really strong. We got caught up in traffic but we got a top 10 finish, so we’re very pleased. It’s not a win or a podium, which is what we’re always going for, but at the end of the day, it was a good points day – and we need those points, especially given what happened in Texas. Great job by the team today, we’ll look forward to building up more points starting at Barber later in the month.”
“Well it certainly wasn’t the best race for us. We went from being super fast all weekend long to not getting the result that we wanted. The strategy was fantastic, but as you saw the incident with Sato was not ideal – but we did get a lot of TV time for that! I don’t think I would do anything different on the Sato move if I had to do it all over again. Other than that, we had tremendous pace all weekend. Thank you to AutoNation, SiriusXM , Arctic Wolf and Honda.”