Pagenaud finishes 15th, Castroneves 21st
Long Beach, Calif. (16 April 2023) – Simon Pagenaud led the Meyer Shank Racing effort at Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, as the former NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion finished 15th at the famed Southern California street course.
Pagenaud (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) started 14th and held serve through the first fuel stint, but dropped nine positions to 23rd after an issue during the first pit stop.
The Frenchman ran a strong final stint, climbing back to 16th with 10 laps to run. He then chewed up a four-second deficit to the trio of cars running in front of him, closing to within a half-second in the waning laps. The battle paid off as Pagenaud moved one more stop to 15th on the final lap.
Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) saw his fate revealed on the first lap as he spun and made front-end contact with the wall. The resulting damage forced the Brazilian driver to pit for a new nose – costing him a lap to the rest of the field. Castroneves recovered well and ran a strong pace in the final segments of the race and eventually finished 21st.
The Ohio-based team will now head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week for a two-day test in preparation for the 107thrunning of the Indianapolis 500. The team will be back in IndyCar competition the following weekend for the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix April 29-30 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
“We drove a good race and I had fun. I love this track. It’s always a pleasure to drive the indy cars at Long Beach, it’s the reason I wanted to be a race car driver when I was a kid. It was a fun race and was fun to drive the car. We had an issue with a pit stop which kept us from a top eight or top seven. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s racing in the end. We’re all pushing really hard and sometimes things happen. One day it will be me, one day it will be somebody else, it just is what it is. It’s part of racing. It’s part of what we do and it’s part of the growth of our team to be at the top level.”
“On turn one I got a little greedy on the throttle and spun the wheels. Totally my bad. I’ll tell you what, the AMR safety guys did an amazing job trying to keep me on the lead lap. If we would have had another lap [under yellow] we probably would have gone back on the lead lap and could have stayed in the race. Unfortunately, we went a lap down, there’s not much you can do. The AutoNation, SiriusXM, Artic Wolf, Cliffs machine was so good and was actually really strong. It’s a shame that we didn’t have an opportunity to be more towards the front. The guys were really strong. Let’s move on to the next one.”