Detroit, Mich. – (4 June 2023) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) made its 100th NTT INDYCAR SERIES start Sunday and the team showed the determination that personifies its history, avoiding carnage and fighting hard to earn lead-lap finishes at the Detroit Grand Prix.
Negotiating a brand-new and very tight 1.645-mile downtown street circuit in Detroit, Simon Pagenaud (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) used a season-best starting position of eighth and solid tire management to come home with a new season high after a 13th-place finish, eclipsing his previous high watermark of 15th from Long Beach.
Pagenaud’s stablemate Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / Cleveland Cliffs Honda) overcame a rough qualifying session that forced him to start 23rd and used five pit stops to keep fresh Firestone tires on his way to a 19th-place run.
Pagenaud suffered through a trying opening stint on the alternate Firestone shoes that saw him drop seven positions as the enhanced grip brought on by the alternate tires wore away quicker than those on the primary tires. But he ran two very long and solid stints on his primaries to stay in the hunt, negotiating the bumpy course and making passes to solidify his 13th-place finishing position.
Castroneves initially opted for a three stop strategy, but the team utilized six caution periods to top up on fuel and put on new rubber, all while staying on the lead lap.
After a non-stop month of May, directly followed by a trip to Detroit, MSR finally gets a week off next week before heading to Wisconsin for the June 16-18 Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
“A bit of mayhem today here in Detroit. Unfortunately, on the first stint on the green tires, the tires had a very high degradation and that potentially cost us a really good result. We finished 13th, which is a good recovery considering how that first stint went. I had a bunch of scuffles going on, quite a bit of racing, but overall, a good recovery. The team did a good job in the pits and the car was extremely competitive. I wish we could have brought home a top five today, I really believe that would have been the team’s performance, but we made a major improvement.”
“We survived, wow! I can’t believe we survived, there was a lot going on. The pace for us was a little difficult. The bumps were making the car skip a lot. We had one stint that suddenly it was really good, but that was already too late. We were able to keep it off the walls and finish 19th. It’s of course not ideal, but we made some improvements and let’s go for the next one.”