It’s been a five year process in IndyCar for Meyer Shank Racing. The team made its debut in 2017 at the Indy 500 with Jack Harvey in a partnership with Andretti Autosport. Harvey ran a part time schedule for the team until going full time in 2020. Harvey delivered a career best finish of 3rd on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2019. In 2021, the team announced a partial schedule for a second team with 3 time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves behind the wheel. In his very first race for the team, Helio delivered his 4th Indy 500 and his team's first ever IndyCar victory.
The offseason saw plenty of changes for Meyer Shank Racing. Right after the Indy 500, the team announced a full time season for Helio Castroneves in the 2022 season as a reward for winning The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Towards the end of the year, the team announced that Jack Harvey would not return to the team in 2022. Team Penske’s decision to not bring back Simon Pagenaud, opened the door for Meyer Shank Racing to sign another former Indy 500 winner for a full time ride. The team will have two former Indy 500 winners full time heading into 2022.
Unlike the other previews, I am not going to write about what the team could do better. A clear click of the reset button for the team and the experience of Castroneves and Pagenaud will bring two heavy hitters to the tables. These two drivers alone make this team a contender for race wins and even the championship. Both drivers will enter 2022 with a feeling of resurgence.
Entering the 2021 season, Castroneves was rejuvenated despite not having a full time drive. He focused on the Indianapolis 500 and was fast throughout the month. After qualifying 8th for the race, he cautiously picked drivers off one by one, eventually holding off Alex Palou to secure his fourth Borg Warner Trophy. Castroneves would drive in 5 more races in 2021, with a best finish of 9th. He qualified inside the Firestone Fast 6 at Long Beach and was having a great run before a pit strategy didn’t fall his way resulting in a 20th place finish. If Castroneves can find consistency, he will be a contender for race wins in 2022, especially at the Indianapolis 500 and Iowa Speedway. This will be Helio’s 22nd start at the Indianapolis 500.
Pagenaud will take over the #60 vacated by Jack Harvey. Pagenaud struggled in 2021 with a 3rd place finish at the Indy 500 being his best showing. He charged from a 26th starting position to a 3rd place finish after passing Pato O’Ward on the final lap. Pagenaud last won an IndyCar race back in 2020 at Iowa. 2021 wasn’t the best for the former Indy 500 and series champion as he only managed three top 5s the entire season. He heads to Meyer Shank looking for a resurgence in his career. Meyer Shank Racing is certainly one of the favorites heading into 2022 Indy 500 race day.
CHAMPIONSHIP PROJECTION ODDS
SIMON PAGENAUD +1600
HELIO CASTRONEVES +2100
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