Indianapolis, Ind. (17 May 2023) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) took on the first day of on-track action on Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Tuesday’s Indianapolis 500 practice day cancelled due to rain. MSR returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with its two-car assault as the team takes on its seventh consecutive Indianapolis 500 start and aims to secure a second Indianapolis 500 victory.
Helio Castroneves, No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda
Top Speed: 225.154 mph
Total Laps: 84
Helio Castroneves is back in the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda for his 23rd Indianapolis 500 and continues his ‘Drive for 5’ as he eyes a record-setting fifth Indy 500 victory.
Castroneves started the first half of the day focused on solo running and working on the balance of his race car. The team also took advantage of testing some new aero components for oval running – which were first debuted at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year.
As the afternoon hours approached Castroneves made several long runs as traffic began to pick up at the 5 o’clock “Happy Hour”. With the first day of practice complete, the team will return tomorrow for the final day of practice before turning the engines up for ‘Fast Friday.’
Helio Castroneves Quote:
“We’re back! There’s a process for the first day of practice. You have to go through the car and what the team did during the off season. You really just leave it all out there and follow your own program of things. We obviously would have liked to have more laps, but with yesterday being canceled the day has been kind of compressed. At the end of the day, everyone is in the same boat. We’ll come back tomorrow and continue working on what we have and see what we can do.”
Simon Pagenaud, No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda
Top Speed: 226.137 mph
Total Laps: 107
2019 Indianapolis 500 winner, Simon Pagenaud – No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda is also hoping to turn around his 2023 season as he aims for a second Indy 500 victory. With 11 Indianapolis 500 starts under his belt, Pagenaud knows what it’s like to be victorious at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Although the open test last month was shortened to just one day due to rain, Pagenaud left that test feeling confident ahead of official Indianapolis 500 practice this week.
Following a similar program as Castroneves, Pagenaud and the No. 60 crew went down the list – first running alone to check the no tow speeds. The end of the day saw Pagenaud run in heavy traffic and practice several hot stops.
Simon Pagenaud Quote:
“It was a really good first day. We know the car is fast which is very encouraging for qualifying this weekend, but also for the race because you want to have some speed there too. Really good job by the whole team for preparing this car. This is a totally different chassis and they [the team] have worked on it all year long, and it’s paying off, so thanks to them. We did a lot of different things today – we tried to run on our own to see the car’s speed and then we ran in traffic at the end. We knew early on that we were not fully tuned in for traffic, but at least we got some good information. As the week goes on we will get more aggressive with the car balance, but this place you don’t want to get bitten by being too aggressive too early on. Overall, good first day and we’ll be back tomorrow.”