Indycar Announces Grid Penalty for Castroneves

From Indycar

INDYCAR Announces Nashville Grid Penalty 
 INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Aug. 5, 2022) – INDYCAR officials have announced a six-position starting grid penalty for the No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing entry for an unapproved engine change following Saturday’s race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.The team was in violation of:Rule 16.2.3.2 A fifth (5th) Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four (4) Engines. Otherwise, a fifth (5th) or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out.According to Rule 16.6.1.2, the penalty is a six-position starting grid penalty on road and street course events and nine positions at oval events and will be served at the series’ next event, which is the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Sunday, Aug. 7 on the streets of Nashville. 

Pagenaud Leads Meyer Shank Sweep of Sebring Day 2

Photo: Mike Levitt -Lumen

Meyer Shank Racing seems to have taken it upon themselves to uphold then honor of the older drivers,. 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud had the fastest time Tuesday in the second day of testing at Sebring International Raceway.

Four time and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves had the second fastest time, giving Meyer Shank Racing the top two spots on the chart.

Last year’s wave of young drivers may still grab most of the attention in season, but Pagenaud and Castroneves may have something for them.

Defending NTT Indycar Series champion Alex Palou was sixth fastest Tuesday.

2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood was the fastest rookie Tuesday with the fifth quickest lap.

Helio and Mike- A New Winning Combination- Quick Thoughts on the Rolex 24

Photo; IMSA, Mike Levitt

When Mike Shank hired Helio Castroneves to run the 105th Indianapolis 500 last year, I just said, “Huh,” and didn’t give it much more thought. Of course Castroneves went on to win his fourth 500. Today Castroneves, along with Indycar teammate Simon Pagenaud, Tom Blomqvist, and Oliver Jarvis win the 60th Rolex 24.

The driver and owner have clicked and the chemistry may make life miserable for other teams.

Shank won the Rolex 10 years ago, which makes today’s victory extra special.

Great Day for Indycar– Seven of the twelve Indycar drivers finished in the top five in their classes. Alexander Rossi was on the second place team in DPi; Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, and Devlin DeFrancesco won the LMP2 class for Dragonspeed; Rinus VeeKay was second in LMP 2; and Kyle Kirkwood was fourth in GTD Pro.

Speaking of GTD Pro, the battle for the win over the last two laps between winner Mathieu Jaminet and Laurens Vanthoor was the best fight of the day. The drivers exchanged positions had contact with each other in the horseshoe and the bus stop on the final lap with Jaminet going on to win. Vanthoor spun and fell to third.

I’m glad to see Felipe Nasr finally win the Rolex after 10 years of trying.

This was an outstanding 24 hour race. There were compelling stories throughout the race. The DPi class provided a lot of the drama, with the Ganassi Cadillacs both experiencing issues which put them out of contention. Both cars looked strong in the middle of the race.

With six hours remaining, the outcome was in doubt in each class.

Kamui Kobayashi tried to singlehandedly keep the 48 competitive. He had a great first stint, but several issues put the car 22 laps down.

The crowd seemed down a bit, but the fans that did come didn’t seem to let the abnormally cold weather bother them.

From the parts of the Peacock broadcast I saw, NBC did a great job of coverage. James Hinchcliffe, to the surprise of no one was outstanding as a commentator. I enjoyed the times NBC went to break and on Peacock we just heard the sounds of the cars.

Daytona could use a video board and an extra grandstand or two in the International Horseshoe. The track also should figure out a way to get a stand by the Le Mans Chicane.

Pagenaud Joins Meyer Shank Racing

From Meyer Shank Racing:

Pataskala, Ohio (27 September 2021) – INDYCAR SERIES Champion and winner of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 Simon Pagenaud will join Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship driving the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda. Pagenaud will team with four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves in the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda.

Pagenaud will be joining MSR which has grown its presence in the series continuously since it’s series debut in 2017 with a one-off entry in the 2017 Indianapolis 500. In five short years, MSR won the prestigious 2021 Indianapolis 500 with Castroneves. The 2022 season will mark the first two-car full-time campaign for MSR as it will field two Indianapolis 500 winners in the team’s hunt for the 2022 INDYCAR championship.

“Next year will be a big year for MSR and I think we have a very strong lineup of drivers between Simon and Helio,” said Mike Shank. “We have built this program every year, growing with our partners and working to have all the ingredients we need to be competitive. Our Indianapolis 500 win was a big breakthrough, and we are looking forward to having a consistently competitive program that will have the chance to fight for wins and podiums no matter where we go and I think this lineup will help us do that.”

“This is such an exciting time in my career,” said Pagenaud. “MSR has proven it is a high-quality organization when they won the Indianapolis 500 and pairing Helio and me together will help our team in 2022 and beyond. I’m really looking forward to this new challenge.”

Pagenaud claimed the 2019 Indianapolis 500 victory with a convincing run out front after starting from the pole. He was the first polesitter to win the Indianapolis 500 since Helio Castroneves in 2009. Pagenaud also scored a strong third-place podium finish in the 2021 edition of the race.

Pagenaud also won the 2016 INDYCAR Championship and has 15 wins, 14 poles and 37 podium finishes since making his series debut in 2011.

Beyond his success in INDYCAR, Pagenaud has also shown strength in sports car competition, collecting podium finishes in the most iconic IMSA SportsCar Championship races. Pagenaud finished second in the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona and collected a third place finish in the 2017 and 2020 Petit Le Mans. He also participated in some prestigious European endurance races, the most iconic being the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans where he missed victory by a very close margin.

Before becoming a champion in America, Pagenaud competed in Europe for several years, winning the ‘Volant Elf’, a young drivers’ competition, in 2001, which marked the start of his career. Until 2006 he moved through the ranks of some of the most renowned young drivers’ formulae in Europe before deciding to pursue his career in the United States.

Meyer Shank Racing will head into the 2022 race season equipped with two-full season INDYCAR entries with the returning support from primary sponsors AutoNation and SiriusXM as well as continued partnerships with CAP fixtures, Rocky Fork Co. and Roberts Service Group.

Reverse Youth Movement at MSR First Silly Season Volley

Don’t tell me you saw this coming. Buoyed by Helio Castroneves’ fourth win in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500in his second car, Mike Shank has decided to bump up his usual schedule to becoming a full time two car entry. Meyer Shank Racing announced that 47 year old Castroneves will drive the number 06 car full time next year. If the team had stuck to the plan as they did with Jack Harvey, Castroneves, who is running six races this season, would have entered 10 races next year.

In this season where the younger drivers have had a lot of success, Shank decided to go the other way. It is a bold move, and I am curious to see how it plays out.

A bit of irony in the second part of the announcement is that Jack Harvey will race elsewhere in 2022. Harvey has been with Meyer Shank Racing the Indycar program began. No one knows where harvey will end up next season. My guess is he will replace Ryan Hunter-Reay in the 28 car at Andretti Autosport. The 2021 season for Harvey has been marked by good qualifying and not so great results, partly due to team strategy.

Here is the story from Indycar:

Helio Castroneves will return for a full NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in 2022 with Meyer Shank Racing (MSR), driving the No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.

Castroneves’ attempt to become the first five-time Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner will be a highlight of the season for MSR, and the Ohio-based team is using the “Drive for Five” theme in 2022.

Brazilian Castroneves, 46, joined A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears in the exclusive club of four-time “500” winners with his emotional victory for Meyer Shank – the team’s first win in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES – on May 30. He also is racing this season for MSR at Nashville, Tennessee (Aug. 8), the Indianapolis road course (Aug. 15) and in the season-closing West Coast swing at Portland, Oregon (Sept. 12), Monterey, California (Sept. 19) and Long Beach, California (Sept. 26).

“I am thrilled to get the chance to go for a fifth Indianapolis 500 win and so excited to fight for the INDYCAR championship again with a full season of races next year with Meyer Shank Racing,” Castroneves said. “Mike (Shank) and Jim (Meyer) have developed some incredible sponsorships with AutoNation and SiriusXM, and having that support is critical. I have been missing racing in INDYCAR full time so much! So, I cannot wait to get a head start on next year with some strong races to finish this season.”

With the full-time addition of Castroneves, MSR plans to field two full-time entries in 2022. The No. 60 AutoNation/ SiriusXM Honda, which has been driven by Jack Harvey for the past few seasons, has been renewed for two years, with a new driver who will be announced soon.

“We wish Jack much success, and we know he will continue to be a driver to watch,” MSR co-owner Mike Shank said. “MSR is excited to have Helio on the 06 car next season, and we’re looking forward to adding a driver, who will turn heads in the 60 car.”

In just 42 INDYCAR SERIES races, MSR has collected an Indianapolis 500 victory, two podium finishes, two-front row starts and 12 top-10 finishes. In addition to the team’s on-track accomplishments, MSR is also in the final stages of building a brand new 43,000 square-foot shop in Pataskala, Ohio.

“There are so many people around us that have given us the opportunity to expand to two full-season entries for next year,” Shank said. “My partner Jim Meyer and I have done this in a way that makes sense for us. I am very excited to have Helio onboard for the 2022 season, and I think there will be a lot of excitement around our second driver when we make that announcement, as well.”

Notes

  • Castroneves career stats:

31 Indycar victories and 50 poles

Second in the points standings four times- 2002, 2008, 2013, 2014

  • The 2022 full time grid might be as high as 27 cars.
  • Dario Franchitti will be the Grand Marshall for the Music City Grand Prix

Harvey Looks for More Success at Mid Ohio

Photo by Chris Owens, Indycar

Jack Harvey returns to the scene of his best weekend of his Road to Indy career, where he swept both races. Mid Ohio is also the home track of his car owner, Michael Shank. No pressure there. Still Harvey is excited to return to Mid Ohio and the Honda indy 200, were he started fifth and finished seventh in race 1 last year.

In talking to the media yesterday, Harvey discussed what mid Ohio means to him and the team, and how his 2021 season is going.

“It’s massive, mate. It’s such a special place for the team, obviously it being Michael’s home race, the track that he grew up at, so everyone at Meyer Shank Racing is obviously very excited. Mid-Ohio was a place that I got my first win in North America back in Indy Lights, and just a track that has flowed pretty well for me the whole time I’ve been there.”

Mid Ohio is known to have rain on race weekends. The rain during qualifying for Race 2 last year cost Harvey several positions on the grid., Harvey doesn’t mind rain at this track.

“Honestly I even like it when it’s raining. We had the wrong setting in the car. We still had our dry pedal map in, so just a bit of an oversight on my side but also maybe on the team’s side, as well. Man, it just flows. It’s a super great track. There’s a nice bit of elevation change there, a lot of the corners kind of link together, so you might have three corners that actually all directly feed into the next one, so your car placement, your precision. I feel like I have gone well on tracks like that, been able to like give a little to try and get a little in a certain part of the corner.”

Harvey summed 2021 for him so far as having a competitive pace, but finding misfortune, especially in the last six races. He told the media:

“… we’ve been quick everywhere. Certainly we have momentum. Just things that together as a team we’re learning. I would say we don’t often repeat mistakes. We have an uncanny ability at the minute to find new ones, which I’m hoping that we kind of stop doing that, but just from a sheer pace perspective, we’ve got that at the minute. But like you said, you look at the people around the championship, and it’s an unusual year because there’s a lot of really great drivers who have been on the receiving end of not necessarily bad luck but just unfortunate events, and like I was talking to Michael this week, we started the season well, we’ve had great pace everywhere, but the last six races for us, I mean, have been pretty not awesome.”

An ambitious strategy call at Road America cost Harvey at least 10 spots in the final results. Harvey related, “Looking back at Road America, our strategy call was aggressive, probably more aggressive than what I would have done if they’d have radioed me and asked, but at the end of the day I think it also shows the desire and aspirations of the team that we’re here to try and get really great results. Honestly I really believe that we’re on the brink of it, we just need them pieces to come together on a smooth weekend, and I think we can do it.”

Jack Harvey at Road America. Photo by James Black, Indycar

As for having Helio Castroneves as a teammate, Harvey enjoys him, and is looking forward to Indycar’s Nashville debut.

“I just like having Helio around, really. He has enthusiasm. He’s an incredibly nice guy. I don’t think there was one person at the Indy 500 who wasn’t happy to see him win. That’s just the kind of guy he is. You know, one of the things that gets a bit of a challenge, for as great as it is having another car there, attention is all getting pulled a little bit away, but Andretti Autosport have five full-time guys if you include us in their stable, so there’s plenty of data to be looking at. But it certainly doesn’t hurt. I just hope that as a team we have to be ready to put people in place to be able to deal and handle with all the extra work that comes along with that car, but I know we’re talking about Mid-Ohio, but if you look just forward to Nashville just for a moment, I think everyone is so incredibly excited for that race. It would be great to have a great weekend this weekend and take that positive energy, momentum into hopefully a great Nashville because August and September are about as busy as what you can be, I think, in an INDYCAR season.”

Jack Harvey is still seeking his first Indycar victory. This weekend at Mid Ohio might be the track where he sees Victory Circle. A win would be huge for him and Michael Shank. While Mid Ohio is still mainly a tack that roots for the Rahals, Mike Shank and crew may give them a new hometown hero to cheer for.

Notes: Castroneves Swaps Barber for Nashville; Alonso Injured

Three time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves has changed his six race schedule with Meyer Shank Racing. Castroneves will now race at the Music City Grand Prix August 8. He will not drive in the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. The other races on his slate this year remain- the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, the IMS road course race August 14, Portland, Laguna Seca, and Long Beach.

Castroneves’s number 06 car will carry sponsorship from Transcard at Nashville.

Alonso Fractures Jaw

Fernando Alonso fractured his jaw in a cycling accident Thursday. The two time world F1 champion was hit by a car. He suffered a broken jaw and underwent surgery. Alonso expects to be ready to drive in the F1 season opener. he is driving for Alpine, the former Renault team in 2021. Formula 1 begins with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix March 28.

Rossi Tops Sebring Test Day

Photo: Indycar, Chris Owens

Alexander Rossi led a strong showing by Andretti Autosport at Sebring on Tuesday with a quick lap of 52.27 seconds. Teammate Colton Herta was second, followed by Jack Harvey and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan duo of Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato were next in line.

Photo-Chris Owens Indycar

Harvey, of Meyer Shank Racing had a technical alliance with Andretti last year. I look for a strong year from Harvey. The team has a full year under their belt, and having Helio Castroneves as a teammate for six races should help as well.

Dalton Kellett and A, J, Foyt Racing tested both days and seemed happy with the team’s progress.

A Title for Helio at Last

It appeared to be over almost before it had begun. Helio Castroneves watched helplessly from the pit stand as Ricky Taylor had trouble leaving the pits after the Penske Acura’s first pit stop 45 minutes into the 12 Hours of Sebring. A boost issue forced the car back to the garage and cost them 11 laps on track. They would need help to win the IMSA Weather Tech championship. The help came from an unlikely source.

Wayne Taylor Racing, starting the day two points behind the Team Penske duo, looked to be in a solid position to overtake the season leaders. A collision between Scott Dixon, in the Taylor Cadillac and Oliver Jarvis in one of the Mazdas, forced dixon to pit. The team needed to replace the radiator, putting them five laps behind. While still ahead of the Penske car, the Taylor entry couldn’t make up enough positions to gain the three points they needed for the lead.

With the focus on the two cars, the Action Express entry was now in a position to jump into the series championship. hey were well underway until the 10th hour, when Pipo Derani tangled with Juan Pablo Montoya in the other Team Penske car. Derani received a drive through penalty, ending the title hopes for Action Express.

Thus Helio Castroneves, in his final race for team Penske, finally won a title for the Captain. Castroneves had finished second seven times in Indycar for Penske despite three Indianapolis 500 victories and 30 race wins overall. Castroneves begins a new Indycar chapter in 2021 when he drives in six races for Meyer Shank Racing.

Helio’s perseverance in pursuing a championship is admirable. he put in a lot of hard work. It took a little longer than he hoped to finally realize one of his goals.

Indycar Well Represented at Sebring

Indycar drivers and team owners had a good day and night at Sebring. In addition to Castroneves winning the season championship for team Penske, Ryan Hunter-Reay drove for the winning Mazda entry, and Simon Pagenaud was a part of the Team Penske Acura entry which finished second. Two time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya also drove the runner-up car.

Meyer Shank Racing won the season championship in the GTD class with drivers Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry, edging Wright Motorsports by two points. meyer Shank will move to the DPi class next season, taking over one of the Acura entries. Will Castroneves be a part of this venture too?

The Michael Shank Acura, winner of the IMSA Weather Tech GTD title

Other Indycar drivers- Sebastien Bourdais finished fifth overall in his final full time ride. Bourdais will pilot the number14 for A. J. Foyt racing in Indycar in 2021.

Colton Herta ended the night fourth in class driving for RLL.