Castroneves finishes 17th on street of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario (17 July 2022) – Simon Pagenaud led Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) with a seventh-place finish in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, the 10th NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the season.
Helio Castroneves’ alternate strategy unfortunately did not yield the desired result for the 15-time Toronto race entrant with the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda finishing 17th.
As the winner in the most recent Exhibition Place circuit in 2019, Pagenaud qualified 18th in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda and worked his way through the field to take his sixth top-10 finish of the 2022 season.
With the MSR team working to secure the rear of the No. 60 Honda overnight, Pagenaud was confident heading into the 85-lap event. Opting for an undercut strategy to advance through the field, Pagenaud made an early dash into the pits on lap 11. Quick work by the team sent Pagenaud back into the fray which say him work his way up to 10th by lap 33.
The Frenchman was running eighth when the second caution waved on lap 45 and the MSR team was able to preserve that position during his final pit stop two laps later.
Pagenaud was up to sixth on the fourth restart with 19 laps remaining. Pagenaud made a pass to briefly take fifth, but was bumped out of the way by a competitor that cost him three positions. With plenty of time left on the clock Pagenaud managed to retake seventh, and held that position to the finish.
Castroneves qualified 17th at the wheel of the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda and the MSR crew elected to go for an overcut strategy, starting on the alternate (red) tires. Castroneves was pacing the field and showed strong momentum as he took advantage of an open track as cars began to pit.
Running third when he pitted for his first stop on lap 19, Castroneves returned to the race in 23rd. It was an uphill battle the rest of the way as Castroneves got up to 16th by lap 60 with an exciting battle ensuing with the No. 12 car, but lost a position on the final restart saw him finished 17th.
MSR has a short turnaround before a double-duty weekend at Iowa Speedway, running the Hy-Veedeals.com 250 on Saturday, July 23, followed by Sunday’s Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 on the banked 0.875-mile oval.
“Awesome recovery today to finish P7. Great race, amazing strategy from the stand and Mike Shank. I’m so proud of the team for great pit stops today to get us back in contention. Toronto is usually madness, and I feel like we extracted the best out of what we could do today. P7 in the end with a great race car, and I feel the momentum of the team. I’m very excited for the races coming up with a race every weekend for the next three weeks, and looking to do very well at Iowa next week.”
“We started well and we were conservative, then we lost a few positions, gained a few positions, so it was kind of insane. Then strategy started to play a factor when people started pitting early. We got stuck behind one of the cars, but as soon as we got a clear lap, we went for it. On a pit exchange, we ended up back in the same place, which is a shame because the car was actually decent. Then it was myself and Will (Power) and it felt like a rivalry from back in the day which was fun but he wasn’t making it easy. We lost a couple of spots because of that and the rear started going away, but the car was feeling good. At the end of the day, we had a good pace, but it wasn’t for us. At least, Simon showed what the MSR car’s could do by finishing in the top 10, which is great. Now, let’s go for Iowa.”