IndyCar: Meyer Shank Racing land ‘perfect fit’ for 2024

Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren, IndyCar (Syndication: The Indianapolis Star)
Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren, IndyCar (Syndication: The Indianapolis Star) /

Felix Rosenqvist has confirmed that he will be joining Meyer Shank Racing for the 2024 IndyCar season beyond, and it’s a move that may be a perfect fit for both parties.

Another domino has fallen in this year’s IndyCar silly season, as Felix Rosenqvist has announced his move to Meyer Shank Racing after three seasons with Arrow McLaren.

Rosenqvist is set to replace Simon Pagenaud behind the wheel of the No. 60 Honda as Pagenaud continues to focus on his recovery from a vicious practice accident at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course which left him with lingering concussion-like symptoms.

Additionally, the announcement marks a full roster makeover for Meyer Shank Racing. The team are also adding Tom Blomqvist to replace Helio Castroneves full-time behind the wheel of the No. 06 Honda, with Castroneves set to run the Indy 500 and become a minority owner of the team in 2024.

On paper, the move may seem like a downgrade for Rosenqvist, as Arrow McLaren are widely viewed as one of the top teams in IndyCar, whereas Meyer Shank Racing are seen as a mid-pack team at best.

However, the move may actually be a huge blessing in disguise for Rosenqvist, whose future has been clouded with many question marks for over a year.

Last season, Alex Palou announced that he intended to join McLaren for 2023, in all likelihood taking Rosenqvist’s seat. However, a well-documented legal battle between Palou and Chip Ganassi Racing quickly ensued due to the structure of Palou’s contract, and the Ganassi side eventually prevailed, effectively blocking Palou’s move to.

The move gave Felix Rosenqvist at least one additional year at Arrow McLaren, but questions regarding his future only grew during the 2023 IndyCar season.

Despite Palou’s failed move to Arrow McLaren, it was still largely expected that Palou would simply wait one more year and leave Ganassi to join Arrow McLaren for the 2024 season instead. But Palou has since changed course is instead set to return to Chip Ganassi Racing, presumably eyeing a long-term deal in the near future.

But even amid this massive silly season twist, which appeared to open up the possibility of Rosenqvist staying with Arrow McLaren for 2024 and possibly longer, Rosenqvist announced his move to Meyer Shank Racing earlier this week, opening up his current seat.

The move finally marks the end of speculation regarding Rosenqvist’s future, not only within Arrow McLaren but IndyCar as a whole. And as all the dominos fall into place, Meyer Shank Racing might just be the perfect fit.

In the past, there have been several instances of drivers switching teams mid-career and finding just as much, if not more, success. And in a twist of irony, one of those moves involved the driver Rosenqvist is replacing.

Back in 2014, Pagenaud announced that he was leaving Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (now Arrow McLaren) to join Team Penske in 2015. Before his move, Pagenaud had already had plenty of success in IndyCar, but upon joining Team Penske, his list of accolades only grew.

During his seven-year run with Team Penske, Pagenaud won a championship and 11 races, including the 2019 Indy 500. It not only solidified Pagenaud’s position as one of IndyCar’s top drivers, but it also proved that a change of scenery can make all the difference.

With Meyer Shank being a significantly smaller team than Arrow McLaren, there are fewer mouths to feed, and it will be easier for Rosenqvist to get the resources he needs to compete on a regular basis. While he may have found himself near the bottom of the food chain at Arrow McLaren, he will instead be right at the top at his new team.

Though Arrow McLaren have often had more speed as a whole, Meyer Shank Racing have proven that they too can have race-winning speed, most notably when Castroneves won his record-tying fourth Indy 500 in his first start for the team in 2021.

Aside from Castroneves, drivers including Pagenaud and Jack Harvey have also picked up podium finishes and top five finishes with the team. More recently, fellow Swede Linus Lundqvist put together several solid runs in Rosenqvist’s future ride as Pagenaud’s substitute driver.

And in his three years with Arrow McLaren, Rosenqvist has consistently been a fast driver who is capable of contending for wins. This season, he has amassed four top five finishes and four additional top 10 finishes, including a runner-up finish in last weekend’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Rosenqvist has also contended for wins and put together strong finishes on every type of track this season, including road courses, street courses, and ovals. In the Indy 500, he had one of the fastest cars in the field, leading 33 laps and having a shot to win before crashing out of the race with under 20 laps to go.

It proves that Rosenqvist has what it takes to win races, and for a team like Meyer Shank Racing also seeking somewhat of a resurgence, he might just be the guy to make that a reality.

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While Meyer Shank Racing aren’t one of the top teams in IndyCar at the moment, things are looking up for the team in 2024 with a younger driver lineup, a strengthened ownership group, and plenty of opportunities for future growth. It makes them a much better fit for Rosenqvist, who is seeking the opportunity to continue to be competitive on the IndyCar circuit.