Newton, Iowa – (22 July 2023) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) opened its 2023 Iowa Speedway NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader weekend with Helio Castroneves and Conor Daly finishing 14th and 21st respectively in the first of a pair of weekend races on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway oval.
Both drivers fell behind early but showed strong speed in the latter part of the 250-lap Homefront 250 on Saturday. Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) started a promising 14th, which marked MSR’s best oval-track qualifying result of its ’23 campaign, and stayed on the lead lap through the first fuel stint.
The Brazilian ran a fuel strategy that matched that of the leaders and he used that strategy to stay in the middle of the pack as the laps ticked by. Castroneves made a pair of late-race passes to earn his second-best result of the year. His 14th-place result is second only to his 10th-place Texas result from earlier in the year.
Daly (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) carried country music icon Carrie Underwood’s all-new SiriusXM Channel – CARRIE’S COUNTRY SXM Ch. 60 – on his car this weekend as the superstar hit the stage just prior the first race of the weekend.
Starting 22nd, Daly – who filled in again for the injured Simon Pagenaud in the No. 60 machine – was able to hold his position in the field through the middle part of the race. He climbed briefly near the top 15 but making his third stop just before a yellow flag was deployed tarnished a chance of moving up through the field as Daly went an additional lap down. Daly finished the fist race of the weekend one spot ahead of where he started in 21st.
MSR is well positioned to bounce back from Saturday’s struggles after a strong qualifying result. Saturday morning’s qualifying session set the grid for Saturday’s race with the first lap, and then used the second lap to establish the grid order for Sunday’s race.
For Sunday’s Hy-Vee One Step 250 will Castroneves will start on the fourth row in eighth while Daly will start 15th on the grid. Sunday’s race will air on NBC and Peacock, with coverage beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
“We started well, and then it wen’t really bad. The MSR guys did a phenomenal job adjusting the car with tire pressures, front wing and then I have the tools inside the car. We were then able to come back from 24th to 14th, it was a great comeback. Not the result that we necessarily wanted, but the good news is we have another race tomorrow.”
“Honestly, we had really good pace. Compared to all the other competitors, we were the 11th fastest in race pace. We were in the right place and we were making progress, but that yellow caught us out. We pitted just before the yellow which meant we were trapped and we wen’t more laps down than we [already] were. I’ve learned so much from the car, we made it better as we went and I was much more used to it at the end. I feel much better going into tomorrow. Today we just got flat out unlucky.”