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Lundqvist to make IndyCar oval debut, Pagenaud still ruled out

Meyer Shank Racing’s supersub Linus Lundqvist will make his third start for the team – and his first on an oval in the IndyCar Series – at Gateway this weekend.

Linus Lundqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

He will once again stand in for former champion and Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, who continues to be sidelined with concussion-like symptoms following his horrendous accident at Mid-Ohio.

As reigning Indy NXT champion, Lundqvist is no stranger to oval racing and has raced at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis on three previous occasions. But this Sunday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be his first IndyCar start in the 260-lap race around the 1.25-mile oval.

“I’m extremely happy to be joining MSR again in St. Louis this weekend,” said Lundqvist. “The last few weekends in Nashville and at Indy have been the time of my life and I can’t wait to continue to work with this team.

“We’ve been through some challenging race formats – Nashville a street course, Indy a road course, and now St. Louis, an oval. I will be learning once again.”

Linus Lundqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Linus Lundqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

Lundqvist won the pole in Indy Lights (which was renamed Indy NXT for 2023) last year but knows he has a big challenge ahead of him.

He added: “I know that it is going to be tough and tricky, but I know the team is going to give me a good car to have a solid result like we had at Indy. I’m also very much looking forward to working with Helio [Castroneves] as a team-mate.

“Working with him on an oval is something that every driver would want to do and I’m just going to learn from it as much as I can this weekend.”

Castroneves won from pole at Gateway in 2003, leading for 96 laps, and finished third on two other occasions. The four-time Indy 500 champion only has four starts on the WWTR oval but has led more than 50 laps in three of those.

“I’m definitely very excited to get back to another oval, they are definitely tracks that I love,” said Castroneves. “So far, we’ve had some good results on ovals, so here’s to finishing out the final oval of the season with a good result.”

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