Lundqvist posts fastest lap of the race for the second time in three races
St. Luis, MO – (27 August 2023) –Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) put the wraps on the oval-track portion of its 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES campaign on Sunday outside of St. Louis, coming home in 18th and 23rd with its two drivers in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) and his teammate Linus Lundqvist (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) each had a little trouble during the event, causing them both to yield some spots to the field, but stayed in contention for top-15 finishes throughout the 260-lap race.
Lundqvist, making his third series start in relief of the injured Simon Pagenaud, started 12th and ran a strong opening stint, moving briefly up to ninth before settling into the 11th position before pitting for the first time on Lap 58. Both he and Castroneves ran a shorter second stint on the all-new red-walled alternate oval Firestone tires, but Lundqvist got out of the racing line after coming out of the pits and yielded five spots in reining in the No. 60 machine.
The Swede did a solid job for the rest of the day, but like the rest of the field he found passing opportunities tough to come by and bought his mount home in 18th – the second-best of his three results for MSR this season.
Castroneves started 13th and followed the same strategy as his stablemate Lundqvist did during the first two stops, although he had fallen back to 18thafter the first 90 laps. The Brazilian got quick pit work from his MSR crew on his second stop and moved up to 16th after changing back to the primary Firestones. He climbed back to 15th on Lap 123 when the race’s second and last caution flag flew, sending everyone down Pit Lane for new shoes.
Unfortunately this stop would blunt Castroneves’ charge for the remainder of the day as trouble with the right-rear tire on the stop dropped the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion to 23rd on the restart. He made a last-ditch effort to get into the top 15 by stretching his final fuel load to the end of the event and nearly made it work before relenting with nine laps to go, having made his last tank of fuel last for 63 orbits of the 1.25-mile oval before settling for a 23rd-place finish.
Next up for MSR will be the second in a streak of three races in three weeks to end the 2023 season as the series heads to the Pacific Northwest for Sunday’s Bitnile.com Grand Prix of Portland, held at the Portland International Raceway.
Meyer Shank Racing Driver Quotes:
“The No. 06 machine today was actually really strong, as you could see we were at one point behind the leaders and held pace with them no problem. Unfortunately we ended up behind the leaders because we had an issue during the pit stop. It’s a shame, we win together and we lose together. But great work from the entire MSR crew because the car was really great.”
“First oval in the books. The biggest takeaway is definitely the marbles. It’s a hectic race, it’s so difficult to pass and as soon as you get lapped its so hard to run side by side. If you’re just a little bit off, you’ve got nothing. I got my fair share of that once or twice during the race. The car was so so good and I think we got the fastest lap of the race, again. I think we had a better car then P18, but I think I made one too many mistakes. But again, it’s a good learning process and big, big thank you to the team, they have done an awesome job since Day 1.”