Meyer Shank confirms Blomqvist to replace Pagenaud towards end of the season

Meyer Shank confirms Blomqvist to replace Pagenaud towards end of the season

Tom Blomqvist is scheduled to race in the #60 for the final two IndyCar races of the 2023 season, according to Meyer Shank Racing.

For the remaining rounds of the season, Simon Pagenaud won’t be driving the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing car as a result of his ongoing recuperation from the concussion he sustained at the Mid-Ohio NTT IndyCar Series race.

Pagenaud is still requesting permission to drive from the IndyCar medical staff, but it has not yet been granted.

The No. 60 will be driven at Portland International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca by MSR’s IMSA champion Tom Blomqvist, who will transition to IndyCar full-time in the No. 06 MSR Honda next year. After filling in for Pagenaud in Toronto in July, this will be Blomqvist’s second and third appearances in the No. 60.

The two appearances at Portland and Laguna Seca will give the IMSA standout more practice time before the season that follows, which has already been announced to see him compete full-time with the squad.

Earlier this season, Blomqvist participated in one IndyCar race, sliding into the #60 for a testing weekend in Toronto and significantly improving over the course of the event.

However, Blomqvist did not receive as much experience as he had planned because he was eliminated within the first lap of the race, preventing him from having a chance to fully grasp battling against other drivers.

He will be more equipped to take on the two natural terrain road courses in the upcoming weeks considering that he has since spent time on the simulator and had time to process what he learnt during his previous race weekend.

“Obviously the circumstances are quite tricky with Simon’s recovery and the whole situation surrounding the #60 car,” said Blomqvist in the release. “I know the whole team and myself included are thinking about him as he recovers.

“I’ve got to thank Jim [Meyer] and Mike [Shank] for getting me in the car and looking ahead now to next season having been confirmed to drive with MSR next year.

“It’s a good thing to be getting these races under my belt before the season and working in preparation for my full program in 2024.

“I got a brief test in Toronto under very challenging circumstances – without any real preparation whatsoever.

“Now I’ve got a little bit more understanding and knowledge and I’m hoping it’s going to be easier this time.

“Hopefully I can do Mike and Jim proud and make progress with every session. Hopefully after these next two events I can be happy and put in some strong performances and go into winter break with more knowledge on the series and be able to build on this.”

Pagenaud’s contract with MSR expires at the end of the season, and he will be unable to compete before signing with another team as a free agent.

Blomqvist will have a busier September than he had anticipated given the races in Portland on September 1-3 and Monterey on September 8–10 will now take place before his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Indianapolis on September 15–17 in the hybrid No. 60 MSR Acura ARX-06 GTP.

Blomqvist succeeds Linus Lundqvist, who drove the No. 60 for the previous three races and performed well enough to pique the interest of the Chip Ganassi Racing team for 2024.

Blomqvist will benefit greatly from the chance to accumulate additional miles and experience as he gets ready for the upcoming open-wheel challenge.

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