Meyer Shank Racing’s Mike Shank was lost for words after Helio Castroneves not only claimed his fourth Indianapolis 500 win on Sunday but it was also Meyer Shank Racing’s first-ever win in the NTT IndyCar Series. The team has been building up steadily in recent years and joined the series full-time with Jack Harvey last season with Helio coming on board on a partial programme this year.
The Brazilian, nicknamed Spiderman started the race from eighth place and bided his time to take the lead with just two laps remaining following an extremely entertaining final 20 laps of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Spraking following the race, Shank said:
Mike Shank (Meyer Shank Racing Honda team owner): “I don’t even know where to start. Helio drove an incredible race-his experience in this race was there for all to see. I’m so proud to have the partnerships that we’ve built to get to this point.
“That starts with Jim [Meyer], who has made such an impact on this organization since coming on board and goes to AutoNation and SiriusXM, and of course Honda and the folks at HPD have been just amazing. This is going to take a long time to soak in, but right now I just am a little at a loss for words to be standing here right now after winning the Indianapolis 500!”
Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing Honda) 2021 Indianapolis 500 Winner: “Honda’s great. HPD, because I’ve worked with them for three years and now coming back here with Honda, it’s been absolutely incredible. They sat down with me and we’ve had many meetings. That’s what we need to have.
“When you have spent so many years with an incredible organization and have their experience and information, you can explore those things. We’re here in victory circle because they’ve done the right things for us.”
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou leads the championship following his second-place finish and speaking following the race he said:
Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started sixth, finished second: ““Man the traffic, it was super close, Helio did an amazing job. I’m super proud of the NTTDATA car, I’m proud to be powered by Honda. Chip Ganassi Racing had the best cars today and I tried my best, we had a bit of traffic. Helio having that last clean lap, man, we’ll come back next year! I learned a lot today.”
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Santino Ferrucci who finished sixth said:
Santino Ferrucci (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) Started 23rd, finished sixth: “It feels incredible, I’m so happy I can come back and drive for RLL and for this crew and be Honda-powered again. We had a great race! We were really quick, we just couldn’t get lucky on the starts and restarts. Strategy played a big part in this race, and we were able to save enough fuel to run as hard as we could at the end there. We were slowly reeling in the lead group, just needed a few more laps.
“This team worked all night long on Thursday night [after a crash in practice] to make sure the car was ready and fast for qualifying. They’ve been working on this car nonstop to repair it and make sure we had a car that could race in the top five. It’s so impressive and I’m so proud of them.”
David Salters (President and Technical Director, Honda Performance Development):
“This is absolutely amazing. It’s great to see the world get back to normal, it was a great crowd at the speedway and they got to see a fairytale ending for Helio. I couldn’t be more pleased, I’m so proud of the team at HPD and everyone that represents Honda and everything they’ve achieved. The Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Indy 500, all out of HPD, in just one year—and all with Helio—it’s amazing. And, of course, massively well done to Mike [Shank]. This is an astonishing achievement and his team simply delivered.”