Pataskala, Ohio (27 February 2023) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) will kick off the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season this weekend for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg returning with its two-car, full-season lineup of Helio Castroneves – No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda – and Simon Pagenaud – No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda.
Sunday’s 100 lap opening IndyCar round (NBC, Noon ET, SiriusXM Ch. 160) will mark outing will be MSR’s sixth straight season competing on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course
Building on last year’s initial season of running two full-time IndyCar programs, veteran drivers Pagenaud and Castroneves will look to improve on a 2022 season that featured 10 top-ten finishes, highlighted by a runner-up finish by Pagenaud at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Castroneves, driver of the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda, is one of the most decorated drivers in the series. The popular Brazilian is one of four drivers to win four Indianapolis 500 titles – including the ’21 race with MSR – and has 31 wins and 50 poles to his credit.
Castroneves is looking to add a fourth St. Pete victory to his resume, having won in 2006, 2007 and 2012.
Pagenaud, himself a 13-time IndyCar race winner, returns to the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda after leading the team with seven top-10 finishes last season. This weekend will mark Pagenaud’s 12th entry into the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete, having scored back-to-back second place finishes in 2016 and 2017 as well as a third place finish in 2021.
MSR made its team debut in St. Petersburg in 2018 and has qualified in the top 10 four times including a front row start in 2021 which yielded MSR’s best finish of fourth.
The 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will air on NBC on Sunday starting at Noon ET. Saturday’s qualifying will be shown live on Peacock beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. SiriusXM will also host live IndyCar Radio coverage of both sessions on XM Ch. 160.
“Here we are, the 2023 season is about to start and I am extremely excited. Every beginning of the season is the most exciting part because you have been working so hard all winter-long and expecting things to get better and improve. I look forward to it mostly because of the preparation we’ve put in and that I have put in – my physical preparation and the emphasis I put on nutrition in the off-season. I feel extremely ready and probably the best I’ve ever felt both physically and mentally. We certainly turned every single stone that you could turn with Meyer Shank Racing and Honda, and I’m excited to see it’s going to show on the race track. We had amazing potential last year, and now it’s time for us to show results and what we have as a team. I’m looking forward to starting off the season alongside Helio and all of our fantastic partners.”
“I’m super excited for St. Petersburg, MSR has been preparing so much in the off-season so we’re feeling good heading into the first race of the season. St. Pete is a tough track with a long straight and some slow corners in the infield – which is really fun by the way. I’ve won many times at St. Pete so we’ll see if we can add another one this weekend.”