Photo: Brandon K. Carter/ASP, Inc.

Blomqvist Joins Meyer Shank Driver Lineup, Castroneves Takes Ownership Stake

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

INDIANAPOLIS – Meyer Shank Racing will have a bit of a different look heading into the 2024 NTT IndyCar Series season.

Ahead of this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the team announced changes to both its driver lineup, as well as a change to its ownership group to better position itself for the future.

On the driver front, the team’s current IMSA star Tom Blomqvist will take over one of the team’s two full-time cars in 2024, replacing Helio Castroneves, who will move into an Indianapolis 500 only driving role, along with taking a minority ownership stake in the team starting next season.

Blomqvist comes to IndyCar on the heels of winning the 2022 IMSA championship with MSR and has also captured two victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, having won in both 2022 and 2023.

The 29-year-old Englishman also has one previous IndyCar Series start under his belt, having made his series debut in Toronto earlier in the summer, filling in for the injured Simon Pagenaud. However, that first start ended early when he was caught up in a Lap 1 crash on the tight confines of the street course.

“Firstly, I’ve got to say a huge thank you to Mike, to Jim, to all the partners at MSR for giving me this opportunity,” Blomqvist said. “It’s a big thing for me. It’s obviously a step up in terms of career trajectory. That’s something I’m really excited about.

“Also kind of coming back to my roots. It’s been almost I think nine, eight years since I last stepped foot properly in a single-seater series. It’s something I grew up with the goal of obviously chasing that Formula 1 dream. I kind of sidestepped that for quite a while really.

“This opportunity only arose since joining Mike and his team, then just kind of proving to them that I was capable and worthy of getting given the shot in INDYCAR. I’m super, super grateful for that.

“I’m extremely excited. It’s been a while. I’ve been doing something so different for so long, but I think time will tell. I’m pretty confident I’ll figure this thing out.”

While Castroneves won’t be driving full-time any longer starting in 2024, he was as amped up as ever about the opportunity to keep his “Drive for Five” alive in a third Indy 500-only entry with MSR and getting to step into the ownership side of the IndyCar Series.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, no question about,” Castroneves said. “But this is another chapter in my career. I want to be very clear: I am not retiring, okay? I just want to make sure people understand that. Actually, my line is open now to do other series. I can do SRX, IMSA, NASCAR, Stockcar Brazil, whatever the lines ring.

“Obviously the main focus INDYCAR, in my role, as Jim just alluded to, is different hats, and also Drive for 5. I still have a lot of fire inside me, a lot of energy that I want to burn, but now I’m going to focus that burn in the Indy 500.

“A great thing is the experience that I create and I build all these years, I definitely can help Tom, for example, in this case just starting with INDYCAR. The great part of it, he’s going to definitely have to call me boss, no question about it. I can’t wait for the other driver, whoever is going to be, to call me boss (laughter).

“No joke aside, we do have a lot of work ahead of us. The best for me in this condition is step aside on that, help Mike and everyone to go to the next level.”

Team co-owner Jim Meyer added that Friday’s announcement was a culmination of a five-year plan that he and fellow owner Michael Shank had when they originally formed the team. He noted that eventually they wanted to be able to field two full-time teams and an additional car in the Indianapolis 500 and the team is right on track with that goal.

“When Mike and I formed this team, we laid out a clear roadmap of how we wanted to do things,” Meyer said. “We started out with a very short schedule. Six races grew to 10, one full-time car, two full-time cars.

“Our discussion over five years ago, our plan was at the five-year point, six-year point, we wanted to go two full cars, run a third car at the Indy 500. I’m happy to be sitting here today that we’re right on that plan as we laid it out.”

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.