Indy Car Great Helio Castroneves Announces Plan To Move Away From Full-Time Competition

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Helio Castroneves, a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, has announced that he’s stepping away from full-time IndyCar competition after this season.

Yes, if you’re keeping score, this is the second time the guy they call “Spiderman” has done this.

The 48-year-old out of Brazil has been behind the wheel of Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 06 Honda for the full 2022 and 2023 seasons. That ride came after a spell of part-time work including his 2021 Indy 500 win which showed that one of the sport’s all-time greats still has what they like to call “it.”

Castroneves will continue to race part-time for MSR and will hop in the cockpit of a third car for the team at the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2024.

The field for that race is going to be something else, man…

So, who will replace Castroves?

On the same day, the team announced that they were hiring from within and a multi-year deal with sports car driver Tom Blomqvist.

Blomqvist is currently part of MSR’s sports car program deputized for Castroneves’ teammate Simon Pageneauf in the No. 60 earlier this season in Toronto. That came after Pageneaud sustained injuries in a hellish crash at Mid-Ohio due to a brake component failure.

Could Meyer Shank Racing Have Two New Drivers Next Season?

Speaking of Pageanaud, according to Racer, he is in the last year of his deal. Couple that with a rough season for both of MSR’s cars — Castroneves sits 20th in the standings while Pageneaud sits in 27th (although missing races is a big factor in that) — could mean a new driver in the No. 60 as well.

It would be an unfortunate end to Pageneaud’s tenure with the team considering his pedigree as an Indy 500 and series champ, but that’s sometimes how things work out.

There isn’t a shortage of options, but it might be reasonable to think Linus Lundqvist is the current frontrunner. The 24-year-old Swede who came up through the Indy Lights series (now known as Indy NXT) impressed in his debut at the Music City Grand Prix.

His day in Nashville came to a disappointing end when he found himself in the marbles late in the race and understeered into the wall. Though, in fairness, that could have happened to anyone.

He’s back in the car this weekend on the IMS Road Course, and if he drives the way he did in Nashville, he’ll be making a strong case for a full-time ride next year alongside Blomqvist.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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