Lundqvist qualifies 11th, Castroneves 17th
Nashville, Tenn. (5 August 2023) – Linus Lundqvist is no stranger to success on INDYCAR’s Nashville street track, having won last year’s INDY NXT by Firestone event on the bumpy Tennessee layout. Today the Swede reprised some of those positive results into Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) as he took his No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda to the 11th position on the grid for Sunday’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix (12:00pm ET, NBC, SiriusXM Ch. 160).
Making his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut as a stand-in for the injured Simon Pagenaud, Lundqvist carded two strong laps on his final two passes around the 2.1-mile Nashville layout to advance to Saturday’s second qualifying round, then followed that performance up with a solid second session with a best time of 1:16.0715-seconds to put him on the inside of the sixth row for the 80-lap race.
The qualifying marked the second time this season that an MSR car has advanced to the Firestone Fast 12 on a road or street course, equaling the effort set by Pagenaud in Detroit that earned him a season-high eighth-place starting spot. Lundqvist’s result was the second-best of the season on a road or street course for the Ohio-based team.
Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) will start 17th on the street course after an opening qualifying session where the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner was close to advancing in his own MSR machine. But a Turn 4 lock up hindered progress forward which put him on the inside of Row Nine for tomorrow’s race.
Sunday’s 80-lap Big Machine Music City Grand Prix gets underway at Noon p.m. ET. And can be seen live on NBC and Peacock. SiriusXM will also host live IndyCar Radio coverage on XM Ch. 160.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
“Qualifying in INDYCAR is intense, but I love it. This was exactly what we hoped for and could have asked for. I knew it was going to be extremely tough to transfer out of the first group, but we made a smart choice to go red red [on tires] knowing that it was going to be a struggle here in the Fast 12. Just reaching this point was really good. Great day for us and massive thank you to the team. The AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda was awesome today, massive thank you to everyone and we’ll chip away at it tomorrow.”
“Our second stint was actually pretty good. I got a little too greedy in Turn Four and locked up the front (tires) and destroyed the right front tire but believe it or not we still had a shot to advance (to Q2) but when I got to Turn Nine, because of that issue and the vibration the car just didn’t turn. But this is probably one of the best cars I’ve had all season.”