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Thursday, June 20, 2024

IndyCar Leaders Circle factors behind MSR name to bench Blomqvist

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4-time Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves, who additionally shares a minor possession position inside MSR, has been called upon to substitute for Blomqvist within the #66 Honda-powered entry in Detroit and can stay within the automobile for subsequent week’s spherical at Highway America.

The choice to drag the sportscar convert got here after he crashed at Flip 1 on the opening lap of final week’s Indy 500. In 5 points-paying rounds this season, Blomqvist has a greatest end of 15th at St. Petersburg and three outcomes worse than 22nd.

These finishes have solely intensified the priority for MSR’s place with the entry within the Leaders Circle, which pays out greater than $1 million for people who place within the prime 22 spots (of the 25 eligible automobiles) on the finish of the 12 months.

MSR’s #66 entry is presently in a three-way tie for 22nd with AJ Foyt Racing’s #41 and Ed Carpenter Racing’s #20 at 46 factors apiece.

“The reality is the Leaders Circle, we have got to get some factors there,” mentioned Castroneves.

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“We have to have the ability to not have the identical state of affairs that we had final 12 months. And this can be a monitor that Tom has by no means been to, so we determined just a bit extra expertise could be higher for us to hopefully, accumulate factors and transfer ahead.”

Blomqvist gained the IMSA SportsCar Championship title with MSR in 2022, claiming back-to-back victories within the Daytona 24 Hours with Castroneves as a part of the driving line-up.

He converted to MSR’s IndyCar programme final season initially as a alternative for Simon Pagenaud, when he was concussed in a violent accident at Mid-Ohio, earlier than being signed to a full-time deal for 2024.

Castroneves burdened that the choice to bench Blomqvist was taken at this comparatively early stage within the 17-race marketing campaign, somewhat than giving him extra time to adapt, as a result of “we’ve to cease the bleeding proper now”.

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Marcus Ericsson, Andretti International Honda, crash

Picture by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

“Let’s cease the bleeding first after which think about what’s taking place shifting ahead,” mentioned the Brazilian, who known as time on his full-time IndyCar profession final season.

“However as of proper now, we simply wish to be certain that we put the automobile into some positions to get within the prime 22 after which we are able to proceed.”

Castroneves burdened that Blomqvist’s inexperience on the short-term avenue circuit was additionally an element within the timing of the choice.

“Coming to a spot that he is by no means been in all probability shouldn’t be gonna assist,” Castroneves mentioned. “If you consider it, you already know, is sensible. And he understands that, too.”

Castroneves additionally hinted on the ovals developing, such because the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway subsequent month, clouding the opportunity of Blomqvist’s imminent return.

“Now we have some ovals sooner or later as nicely once more,” Castroneves mentioned. “Proper now, let’s focus separately, however that is now.”

Of be aware, Blomqvist shouldn’t be with the staff this weekend in Detroit, opting as an alternative to return to his dwelling in Florida.

The 49-year-old Brazilian reiterated Blomqvist’s place within the staff by stating that “he can be with us so long as he desires” however, when requested about when he expects Blomqvist again behind the wheel of his Indycar this 12 months, Castroneves was non-committal.

“As of proper now, we’re going separately,” he added. “That is what we wish to wish to concentrate on.”



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