Monterey, Calif. – (7 September 2023) –Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) will wave the checkered flag on the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar Sunday, as a trying season reaches its conclusion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (2:30pm ET, NBC, SiriusXM Ch. 160).
The season comes to an end on one of the most fabled tracks on the 17-race schedule as the Ohio-based squad will visit the newly repaved 2.238-mile Laguna Seca layout, which has hosted world-class open-wheel and motorcycle racing for more than 65 years.
The event will be the last for veteran Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) as a full-time INDYCAR SERIES driver, although the popular Brazilian has already inked a deal with MSR that will allow him another chance at becoming the only five-time Indianapolis 500 winner in history next season.
As he has done all year, Castroneves will draw from his deep well of experience to help himself and teammate Tom Blomqvist (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) navigate the tricky 11-turn course which features the Corkscrew turn (turns 8 and 8A) that is one of the most well-known corner complexes in motorsports.
Laguna Seca was the site of Castroneves’ third-ever series victory as he led 81 of 83 laps on his way to the win in the 2000 season. Last year, the MSR duo of Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud qualified both cars in the top 12 for the race.
Although making just his third INDYCAR SERIES start, Blomqvist has experience of his own on the Monterey layout. The Englishman has three starts there in IMSA competition including a 2022 event with MSR’s Acura DPi where he would both start and finish second in the Acura ARX-05.
The 95-lap event will get underway Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern and can be seen live on NBC, Universo and Peacock. The grid for the season finale will be set by Saturday’s qualifying, which can be seen on Peacock and heard on SiriusXM Channel 160 with the start coming at 5 p.m. Eastern.
“Laguna Seca is a track where I still hold the track record at. However, they did do a little bit of a resurfacing, so my track record might be in jeopardy, but hopefully it will be in jeopardy from me. I am going to try to beat my own record. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we are looking forward to closing out the season.”
“Once again. it’s going to be another experience-gaining weekend for me at Laguna Seca. It was great to get a full race distance under my belt in Portland and I come into this round with more understanding and knowledge to lean on. Laguna Seca is a legendary circuit, especially within INDYCAR, so I’m extremely excited to take to the track. Unlike Toronto and Portland, I’ve actually raced here before so that gives me some bearing to work with. Obviously, stepping into an Indycar is a different challenge compared to the DPi, but it’s nice to have some experience to lean on.
I’m confident I can do Mike, Jim and the entire team proud this week and continue to make progress with every session so I can go into winter break with more knowledge on the series ahead of 2024!”