Long Beach, Calif. (25 September 2021) – In his sixth race of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR season with Meyer Shank Racing (MSR), Helio Castroneves matched the team best qualifying result of the season after putting the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda in third for Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (3:00pm ET, NBC, SiriusXM Ch. 205).
MSR kicked off a big weekend of action – with the team’s IMSA program also racing in Long Beach. Both Castroneves and Jack Harvey were set up for a strong qualifying run after finishing the final practice session 13th and 10th respectively.
Harvey started in the first qualifying group and was on a hot lap with just minutes to go, when a notoriously slippery Turn 9 caught the Brit out and forced the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda into the wall. Unfortunately, Harvey’s lap was voided and he will start the race from 25th.
“It was a disappointing qualifying run and it was not how I wanted my last qualifying with MSR to go,” said Harvey. “I haven’t really been a big ‘crasher’ the whole time I’ve been here so it’s a little bit of a bummer to have that happen in my last race with the team. We had quite a good lap going up until that point, so the pace is there. Hopefully we can just have a good race tomorrow.”
Castroneves made his first transfer of the season through the first round of qualifying. Consistently at the top of the charts in the Fast 12, Castroneves finished P1 as he moved into the Firestone Fast Six.
Making his first appearance in the Firestone Fast Six this season, Castroneves was on the hunt to capture his second pole position on the streets of Long Beach. Castroneves posted a 1:08.462-second lap which placed him third on the starting grid for Sunday’s 85-lap race.
“I am so thankful for SiriusXM and AutoNation and this whole MSR group, they have all been incredible,” said Castroneves. “We’ve been working on the process at each of the six races we’ve ran together this year. And today, we were able to stay in control, stay consistent, and stay fast. So P3 is a pretty good statement. But man, I love this place! I’m excited to be starting in the front, and really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
The Acura Grand Prix will begin coverage starting at 3:00pm ET on NBCSN. SiriusXM will cover INDYCAR Radio coverage on XM Ch. 202.