Indianapolis, Ind. – (13 May 2023) – After both team entries made promising starts with forward progress early in the GMR Grand Prix, the Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) outing didn’t yield the results the team had been looking for in Saturday’s 85-lap event staged on the 2.439-mile infield road circuit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Starting 16th, Pagenaud (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) made up four positions in the first two laps of the race and was running 13th when he became the first lead-lap car to pit, coming for service on Lap 10. The undercut strategy allowed Pagenaud to run in clean air and use push-to-pass to run stronger lap times – a move that saw the Frenchman climb all the way to 10th prior to his second stop.
A steady run on the red-walled intermediate Firestone tires saw Pagenaud running 14th as he made his third and final stop with 27 laps to go. Unfortunately, on his way to rejoin the fray, an issue with the right-rear wheel nut left the MSR car stranded on pit lane, leaving him to finish 25th.
Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / Cleveland Cliffs Honda) started 26th after a trying Friday that saw the MSR squad lose a brand-new engine in practice, forcing the team to install a new power plant prior to qualifying. The four-time Indianapolis 500 winner also had a strong start and gained four spots in the opening two laps, but eventually finished a lap down in 22nd.
Teams will begin practice and preparation for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 this week, with practices starting Tuesday afternoon and running each day before Saturday’s Pole Qualifying.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
“I really enjoyed todays race, there were a lot of strategy calls especially when it came to tires and I feel like we made all the right decisions. We started the race on the reds and pitted early for the harder compound. We were climbing towards the top ten, but unfortunately on our last pit stop we has a mechanical issue on the right rear tire and sadly we had to park the car at the end of pit lane. Quite unfortunate end to a great day, it was great work from the whole team. Now I just focus on the Indianapolis 500 and practice starting on Tuesday. It’s out number one goal to win that race and I look forward to being back at the speedway.”
“Today was tough for sure. We really struggled on the [Firestone] reds today, it was just hard to get a good balance going. I actually felt pretty good at the end, and was running up the field, but another car pushed me wide and I lot a few positions. Although this isn’t the race that we wanted, now we are here to focus on the best race of the season, the Indy 500.”