Indianapolis, Ind. (17 May 2022) – Opening day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Indy 500 Practice was greeted with crystal clear blue skies and warm temperatures. Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) completed the two-session practice day with Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves finishing out the day 13th and 22nd fastest.
Helio Castroneves, No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda:
Top Speed: 224.928 mph
No Tow Speed: –
Total Laps: 131
It’s been nearly 365 days since Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) and Helio Castroneves clinched the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. In record-tying fashion, Castroneves claimed his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory last year. Today, the hunt for his fifth win officially began with opening day of Indy 500 practice getting under way.
The focus of the first session of the day, set aside for Indy 500 veterans only, was to check all of the boxes early on after putting the No. 06 back on the 2.5-mile speedway after an unfortunate incident during testing last month. Castroneves completed 33 laps to set up the No. 06 Indy Car ahead of the afternoon session.
Immediately, group running began as Castroneves utilized pack running to test out the No. 06 Honda in traffic. Castroneves finished out the day with the most laps completed – 131 – as he heads into the second day of practice on Wednesday.
“Today was a good start to the week,” said Castroneves. “We focused on eliminating the issues that we had during the test. We had a little accident during the test, so we wanted to make sure that all of the new pieces were working just fine, which they were. And then we went on to our normal program – running in a pack and in traffic, we tried a bunch of things today. We just keep checking all of the boxes so that we can keep moving forward tomorrow.”
Simon Pagenaud, No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda:
Top Speed: 225.897 mph
No Tow Speed: 215.066 mph
Total Laps: 110
Coming off of a thrilling second place finish at the GMR Grand Prix just three days ago, Pagenaud was eager to turn the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda over to its speedway set up and begin testing for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The 2019 Indy 500 winner headed into the month fully set on clinching his second 500 mile victory.
Similarly to Castroneves, Pagenaud focused on setting up a baseline during the two-hour morning session, completing just 15 laps ahead of the afternoon session. The final three hours saw Pagenaud run several long runs in traffic. With rain anticipated for Wednesday, Pagenaud was pleased with the early progress following his 110 laps on track on Tuesday.
“I think it was a super satisfying day today,” said Pagenaud. “I feel very comfortable in the car. We got some good ones in at the end, managed to get in full stints already on day one. I’m overall really happy with the car. We obviously still have some more tuning to do for race day, but it’s an extremely good first day, so I’m excited. We obviously have some weather coming this week, so this work today was very important going forward. I’m super excited and the team’s doing great. Magnificent vibe here, and we’ll see what we can do in the next few days.”