Nashville, Tenn. (6 August 2022) – The second annual Big Machine Music City Grand Prix got off to an eventful start as Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) took on the streets of Nashville for qualifying on Saturday.
Following a lengthy delay for lightning and rain, qualifying got underway with a completely green track setting the stage IndyCar’s knockout format qualifying.
Simon Pagenaud led the charge for MSR in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda in Group 1, but two red flag periods hindered any progress for the Frenchman. Pagenaud was on a one lap flyer on Firestone’s new sustainable Guayule tire when the second red flag put an end to the session just as Pagenaud was feet from crossing the timing line. Pagenaud will start 13th for tomorrow’s 85 lap race.
Helio Castroneves brought the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda to Group 2 qualifying. With different track conditions compared to practice earlier in the day, Castroneves opted to add front wing for his second run on Guayule tires, but it faired to be just a bit too much and he locked up going into Turn four, flat spotting the tire. Castroneves will start 24th for tomorrow’s Music City Grand Prix.
The Nashville weekend has attracted not only tons of fans but several large groups of MSR partners. Arctic Wolf, Clopay, Cliffs, and SiriusXM have guests onsite to support the MSR squad for Sunday’s race.
The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will be aired live on NBC starting at 4:00pm ET. SiriusXM will also host live radio coverage on XM Ch. 160.
“I am so frustrated because the same thing happened to us in Toronto. We can wait all day for the storms to pass, but then we don’t get an opportunity to all put a lap down. I did one lap on reds [Guayule]. I’m speechless because it is such a shame because you don’t get to perform at your level and now we are going to start again where we don’t belong. The guys have been working so so hard and this shouldn’t keep happening because we are so much better than this. But now we’ll reset tonight and find a strategy that can hopefully move us up the field tomorrow.”
“Let me tell you, that is what they call a code brown. I wen’t into Turn four and almost lost it. We added a little bit of front wing and I did not expect that I was going to have that kind of moment. And as soon as I locked up there was a huge flat spot and I was just hanging on. That was a tough one and the guys on the AutoNation / SiriusXM machine are doing an amazing job and it’s just unfortunate. Here, when you miss it just a tiny bit, you lose a lot. So we will see what we can do tomorrow.”