MOORESVILLE, N.C. – After 20 years with Team Penske, Helio Castroneves has a new home at Meyer Shank Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series.
Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, will drive in six races for the team based in Columbus, Ohio.
“This is a new chapter in my life,” Castroneves said Tuesday morning. “I’m ready for that challenge.”
Meyer Shank Racing is also creating an impressive operation, less than six years after it made its debut in the Indianapolis 500. With Jack Harvey as the team’s full-time driver in the No. 60 Honda, Castroneves joins the operation in the No. 06 Honda.
Castroneves will compete in the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the 105th Indianapolis 500, the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis in August, the Grand Prix of Portland and the season’s final race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“This is the grand plan that Jim Meyer and I set out to do, but we want to do it right,” Shank said. “This is a natural evolution.
“We want to build it. I want to see how this year goes. I like hungry guys; I don’t care how old you are. I have a hungry guy that I know can do the job and he wants to win the Indianapolis 500.
“I’m really pleased to have him.”
The expanded program comes just one month after MSR announced its partnership with Liberty Media Corp. which had made a minority investment in the team, which is attributed to the Formula One Group. MSR and Harvey first paired in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and built a six-race program for the 2018 season, growing to a 10-event 2019 campaign before making a full-season run in 2020. That same approach is being utilized as the team continues to grow for 2021.
“We’re really excited to have Helio come onboard with us next year,” Shank said. “The idea to start off with six races for the second IndyCar was another strategic plan. As I’ve always said in the past, we will never bite off more than we can chew. It’s always been one of our goals to expand the IndyCar program, and this is the best way that we can start that. Of course, the goal is to have two full-season cars.”
Castroneves has previous experience with the team, having raced for MSR’s sports car program in the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The move also sees Castroneves return to Honda power, having won 12 races onboard a Honda-powered IndyCar.
“I’m super excited to be joining Meyer Shank Racing for six IndyCar races next year,” said Castroneves. “Mike (Shank) and I know each other from a long time ago and I raced with the team at Daytona. Now, with Jim (Meyer), Mike and Jack (Harvey), all three of us I feel like we have great potential.
“I can’t thank enough Team Penske for all of these years with them, but now it’s a new chapter in my life and I’m excited to join MSR and an incredible group of friends.
“It’s great to rejuvenate and have something different and something new. Man, this is going to be great.”