Toronto, Ontario – (16 July 2023) – Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) weekend in Toronto came to unexpected early ends for both of its drivers as contact sent both cars to early retirements in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, which is Round 10 of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
Both Helio Castroneves and Tom Blomqvist found themselves victims of separate car-to-car contact that sent both MSR teams back to their haulers early.
Blomqvist’s (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) series debut lasted but one turn as he was squeezed into the outside wall while three-wide through the tight first turn of the 1.786-mile street course. Blomqvist, who had qualified a promising 20th for his first INDYCAR start suffered race-ending damage in the opening-lap contact and finished 25th.
Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) started a season-best 13th and extended his primary Firestone tires for 36 laps on the opening stint, flashing into the top 10 before heading down pit lane for fresh rubber.
Things literally took a turn for the worse just five laps later for the popular Brazilian, when a crash brought out the yellow caution flag and slowed the field. After five laps behind the pace car, Castroneves came out of the final corner toward the Lap 46 restart when he was hit hard from behind by the No. 27 car of Kyle Kirkwood. The contact caused the MSR machine to spin and was unable to get restarted.
Putting Toronto in its rear-view mirror, MSR will travel to Newton, Iowa for a pair of races on the 0.875-mile tri-oval. The Hy-Vee weekend will feature a pair of 250-lap races on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, with qualifying taking place on Saturday morning.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
“Man, I don’t even know what to say. A lot of people were kind of jumping the start back where I was. Turn 10, which is a very tough corner, someone really came in strong and hit me from behind and then I got stuck in second gear. The AMR safety team did an absolutely amazing job. It’s just a shame – we were cruising and I think that’s where our pace was at, between 12th to 14th. The AutoNation / SiriusXM machine was actually running strong. Tough day for both myself and Tom.”
“This is the last thing that I wanted to have happen today. I knew that was a treacherous corner through watching video of last year’s race. And I was on the outside and I knew that I didn’t want to be there but I didn’t really have much of a choice. Unfortunately then you are at the mercy of the people on your inside and unfortunately they couldn’t make it work. I’m pretty devastated because I’m not out there fighting for anything, I just wanted to get a race distance under my belt. I’m really sorry for the guys too, they’ve worked really hard to give me this opportunity.”