MADISON, IL (19 August 2022) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) will start 14th and 18th for Saturday evening’s Bommarito Automative Group 500, Round 15 of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES campaign at World Wide Technology Raceway. The Saturday night shootout (USA Network, 6:00 PM ET) is the final oval outing of the 2022 IndyCar season, with the championship set to close with outings at Portland International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in September.
Simon Pagenaud will start 14th in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda, while Helio Castroneves rolls off 18th driving the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda at the circuit originally known as Gateway International Raceway.
Pagenaud rolled off 15th in the qualifying order and laid down his best lap on his opening attempt, 178.853 mph. He dipped to 178.703 mph on lap two, for an average of 178.778 mph – which placed him 14th for Saturday’s race. He has raced six times at the circuit, with his best result of third in 2017.
Castroneves – the 2003 winner at Gateway – rolled off ninth in the order and showed major improvement on his second lap. After running 178.011 on his opening tour, he improved to 178.703 mph on lap two for an average of 178.356mph – which will have him 18th on the starting lineup.
Prior to qualifying, MSR announced that Castroneves will return for a full IndyCar season in 2023, including a bid for an historic fifth Indianapolis 500 triumph.
Each of the 26 competitors took two flying laps on the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval. They will run 260 laps on Saturday, with the race taking the green flag at 6:30 p.m. ET. The race will be televised live on the USA Network and Peacock beginning at 6 p.m., and will also be broadcast on SiriusXM Channel 160.
Following qualifying, the team will have another practice practiced from 7-8:45 p.m. ET.
“It has been a good day so far and I’m super excited about staying with the team like we announced today. I’m so happy we’ve got the chance to continue building on what we started this year. I have not been here (World Wide Technology Raceway) for many years, so it is pretty amazing to come back here. It was interesting to have the one practice session and then go straight into qualifying. The car was handling really well and the team did a great job with the AutoNation / SiriusXM car. I’m looking forward to the race. I think we’ve got a good set up and I think we can finish really well here, so I’m very excited.”
Simon Pagenaud: “It’s been an interesting day. For the qualifying, it was decent, I think it was the best of what we had. We made some really good progress from the first practice. Every time we get on track now we’re making improvements, but we started a little bit behind. Now we’ve got another practice to work on the race car so we can just keep improving and have a good package for the race. I feel like we keep going in a good direction and we will keep working at it and look forward to the race tomorrow.”
Pagenaud on running in the extra session to build in rubber for a second lane of racing later on Friday:
“I’m glad that IndyCar is giving us the opportunity to try and develop the second groove with that extra session later today. It worked well in Texas-that was a track where we could run side by side in the past. If the groove comes in, I think it will be better for the race and will help put on a better show for everyone so its a good thing for sure.”