No. 06 MSR crew rank sixth in quickest pit stops during the Bitnile.com Grand Prix of Portland
Portland, Ore. – (3 September 2023) –Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) continued to show improvement at the penultimate race of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar at Portland International Raceway on Sunday. The veteran Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) used his vast tire-management skills in moving from 21st on the starting grid to finish 14th.
MSR rookie Tom Blomqvist (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) fared far better in his second race than he did in his INDYCAR debut in Toronto where his day ended on the first lap. The road-racing veteran gained valuable race-day seat time as he brought his MSR machine home in 24th place.
Castroneves started on the primary Firestone shoes and joined the leaders in making them last 31 laps before making his first stop – a run that would see the four-time Indianapolis 500 champ climb all the way to third place before stopping.
He followed that up with a shorter 19-lap stint on the red-walled alternate tires before making two longer stints to end the race. A caution on Lap 84 bunched the field for a restart four laps later which saw Castroneves drop back four spots to serve a pit speed violation, but he fought back and regained the 14th spot, where he would finish.
Blomqvist overcame a pit lane speeding violation on his second stop, which cost him a drive-through penalty, but he kept his car out of trouble on a day when many others had issues with the narrow and tricky Pacific Northwest layout. Blomqvist, who has already signed to drive with MSR’s INDYCAR program in 2024, will also run the No. 60 machine next weekend in the season finale, in relief of the injured Simon Pagenaud.
Meyer Shank Racing will wrap up the 2023 INDYCAR SERIES campaign next weekend as they run the final race of the 17-event schedule by traveling to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
“We started 21st and finishing 14th, so it was a good day for us. We had good pace at a place that normally we are not strong, so I’m very happy with the result. We did get a penalty and I will explain what happened. My dash, when the reserve kicks in, the dash goes blank and when I pressed the speed limiter, I heard the beep, but unfortunately it didn’t engage. At the end of the day, the best we could have done was around 12th, so it as still a very, very good day for the team and our partners.”
“We finished the race, but for me it was just about learning and I was trying to get a race distance under my belt. We had a bit of a mess up with the pit lane speed violation. The banners that I had been using as a reference for pit lane exit were different, so I had no idea where the exit was. From there on it was just kind of driving around and managing cars coming from behind. I learned a lot, it’s a big challenge, so hopefully we can move forward and have another run at Laguna.