Castroneves finishes 21st and Pagenaud 23rd in Sunday’s Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300
Newton, Iowa (24 July 2022) – Hoping to rebound after a tough Race 1 on Saturday at Iowa Speedway, Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) luck did not get much better for Sunday’s Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300.
Helio Castroneves finished the 300 lap race 21st in the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda while Simon Pagenaud brought home the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda 23rd.
Making adjustments overnight to help with minimize tire degradation, the MSR crew was hoping to redeem itself after a 16th and 24th place finish in Saturday’s Race 1.
Pagenaud started 16th, but the troubles started early as the team and spotter were unable to communicate with the 2020 Iowa race winner over the radio. The team worked to fix the issue with Pagenaud, but on lap 40 he pitted to evaluate the car. The team temporarily fixed the problem and sent Pagenaud back out, but the issue returned and he was sent back in pit lane one lap later.
The team was able to fix the radio issue once more and sent Pagenaud back out. Pagenaud’s pace saw a big improvement from the previous day with the Frenchman using the remaining 250 laps to give feedback to the team and collect additional data. Pagenaud crossed the finish line 23rd.
Castroneves started 24th and ran in that position through the early laps. Castroneves was up to 22nd when he pitted on lap 50, but compounding his problems was a penalty for improper pit entry, which dropped him to 25th, five laps down.
The No. 06 crew strategically used two additional caution periods to get as many laps back as possible. Castroneves made it to the checkered after 300 laps of racing to finish 21st.
IndyCar’s busy July continues next weekend with Saturday’s running of the Gallagher Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – part of the Brickyard weekend in combination with NASCAR.
“Today was a tough day for sure. We actually had a very good car. The guys made some changes overnight and it paid off today. We had a much more stable car. Very unfortunate with the penalty. I have always known pit lane penalties to be drive throughs, so that is what I did. And I ended up having to come back in for a stop and go. It will be something I will have to have some discussions on. Had we not had to pit twice I think we had a real chance to at least finish on the lead lap and fight for some more positions.”
“Tough weekend for us. We struggled with performance all weekend and then in the race today we had some issues with the radio, so we had to pit and then that put us out of contention. But props to the guys for fixing it and getting me back out there. We took the rest of the race as a testing session and to learn more about these kind of tracks. It’s certainly a bit of a shame in terms of points, but everyone worked hard and tried to figure out what was going on. That’s the spirit of the team, we keep pushing forward. We’ll come back and we’ll get better. We’ll keep the spirit up and go to Indianapolis, one of my favorite places.”