MSR parks Blomqvist, Castroneves in for Detroit and Road America

Meyer Shank Racing has parked Tom Blomqvist (pictured above), whose rookie campaign in the No. 66 Honda has been an escalating disappointment. MSR’s Helio Castroneves will replace Blomqvist for at least the next two NTT IndyCar Series races starting with Sunday’s race at Detroit and the following weekend’s race at Road America.

“Making this decision was by far the hardest one we have had to make,” said MSR co-owner, Mike Shank. “Tom is 100% still a part of the MSR family and will remain a part of the team for the rest of the season. The decision was not made lightly and after much discussion with Tom, and with back-to-back races coming up, we have decided to have Helio drive in Detroit and at Road America.”

The call to pull Blomqvist from the seat comes after an encouraging run to 15th at St. Petersburg was followed by a 22nd at Long Beach, a 19th at Barber, a 23rd at the Indy GP, and an early crash and 31st-place finish on Sunday at the Indy 500.


“It is fair to say that the last couple of days have been some of the hardest in my career,” said Blomqvist. “Everyone who knows me knows how much I love being a part of the MSR family and together we have enjoyed some amazing successes and victories. I am looking forward to remaining part of the MSR family and contributing to the MSR vision as we chase down further successes in the future.”

It’s unclear if Blomqvist will return to the seat afterwards, but he is known to be signed to a multi-year deal and MSR is expected to return to IMSA where Blomqvist won the 2022 DPi championship for the team. Returning to lead an MSR Acura IMSA GTP program would be a natural solution for both sides in 2025.

If the Indy 500 was Blomqvist’s last IndyCar race for the team, Shank and co-owner Jim Meyer have a limited number of options to pursue among veterans to keep the No. 66 Honda in motion until the season finale.

If the semi-retired Castroneves doesn’t stay in the car, recent Arrow McLaren stand-in Callum Ilott could be a possibility, although he does have a number of FIA World Endurance Championship conflicts to consider. Conor Daly subbed for the injured Simon Pagenaud at MSR last year, and then there’s David Malukas, whose pre-season injury prevented him from racing for Arrow McLaren before he was cut by the team.

With his proven skills on ovals, Malukas could be a fascinating proposition for MSR once his hand and wrist have healed.

At present, MSR’s No. 66 Honda sits 24th in the entrants’ championship. Only the top 22 entries in the final standings are eligible to receive $1 million Leaders Circle contracts from Penske Entertainment. Moving the No. 66 into the top 22 would be MSR’s immediate priority with whomever is nominated to drive the car.

Story originally appeared on Racer