IndyCar drivers who could be cut early: No. 3 – Meyer Shank Racing driver
Meyer Shank Racing have inexplicably taken a massive step backwards since Helio Castroneves won his fourth Indy 500 back in 2021 in what was only his first start with the team and the team’s first race with two cars.
Through the first seven races of the 2023 season, Castroneves sits in 22nd place in the championship standings with a top finish of 10th, and Simon Pagenaud sits in 25th, only higher than rookies Benjamin Pederson and Sting Ray Robb, with a top finish of 13th.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who thinks the drivers are the issue here. Clearly the team aren’t where they want to be. But at the same time, it is no secret that Castroneves and Pagenaud, who are both in their second full season with the team, are probably nearing the end of their IndyCar careers.
Sometimes a driver change in this situation can do wonders, even if the benefit can’t quite be justified on paper.
Meyer Shank Racing will certainly want to do right by their drivers, who have won a combined five Indy 500s. But at the same time, both drivers compete for the team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well, winning the 24 Hours of Daytona in both 2022 and 2023, and they too could see that it is in the organization’s best interests to make a change sooner rather than later.
Any split would certainly have to be mutual, though it’s hard to imagine the team will move on from both drivers before the end of the year.
Many believe that Tom Blomqvist is going to end up running the full IndyCar schedule with the team next year, and given the limited testing time, the best-case scenario for all involved may be getting him some additional seat time toward the end of the 2023 campaign. But which driver would he replace?