Linus Lundqvist will line up alongside Helio Castroneves for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix IndyCar Nashville race on Sunday.
As Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) heads to the fourth street circuit on the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar, the Ohio-based team will welcome Linus Lundqvist to its lineup alongside Helio Castroneves for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on Sunday (12:00pm ET, NBC, SiriusXM Ch. 160).
Lundqvist is stepping in for Simon Pagenaud, who continues to recover from a practice accident at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier this month. While he continues to improve, he has been advised by the INDYCAR Medical Team to not participate in this weekend’s event in Nashville.
Following the Mid-Ohio accident, MSR has continued to campaign the No. 60 Honda-powered entry, with the team’s IMSA Championship winning driver Tom Blomqvist making his INDYCAR debut on the streets of Toronto while Conor Daly stepped in on short notice to compete in both the Mid-Ohio race and the Iowa Doubleheader.
Now, the 2022 INDY NXT by Firestone Champion will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES race debut with MSR as he heads back to a track that he has seen much success at. Lundqvist excelled in INDY NXT competition, scoring third in the championship in his rookie campaign in 2021 and backing that up with a run to the title in 2022 on the strength of five wins and nine podium finishes.
In addition to his success in INDYCAR’s feeder series, Lundqvist has had two INDYCAR tests this year at Texas Motor Speedway and Sebring International Raceway.
Lundqvist heads into the Nashville event with some recent familiarity of the track, having swept the 2022 event with a pole and victory.
In honor of heading to the ‘Music City,’ the No. 60 machine will once again carry the all-new SiriusXM Channel, CARRIE’S COUNTRY – XM Ch. 60 – which is a specialty channel with music curated by the eight-time GRAMMY winner, Carrie Underwood.
Lundqvist will join INDYCAR SERIES veteran Castroneves who will drive the No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda around the 2.17-mile street course. Castroneves has shown well in his two outings in Nashville, finishing ninth in 2021. Last year’s event saw Castroneves start from the back of the field following an engine change, but the Brazilian driver worked his way up to a 13th place finish.
The sister MSR car driven by Pagenaud, finished inside the top ten in 2022, finishing ninth after starting 13th.
The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will air live on, Sunday, August 6th on NBC starting at 12:00pm ET. All Practice sessions and Qualifying can be viewed on Peacock. SiriusXM will also host live IndyCar Radio coverage on SXM Ch. 160.
“This is a moment I’ve been dreaming of literally since the start of my career. I could not be more excited about the prospect of finally making my NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut; I am extremely grateful to Meyer Shank Racing for this opportunity. This will be an incredible experience, but also the toughest challenge of my life. Sitting on the sidelines all year, it would be a massive task to join any championship towards the end of the season – let alone the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on the streets of Nashville. There’s been very little time to prepare, but I feel like the sheer excitement of this moment will make up for some of that. Of course, working alongside Helio – one of the true legends of this sport – will also be a huge asset. Finally, I would like to wish Simon Pagenaud a continued speedy recovery. While fully aware of everything I have to learn this weekend, I will do my very best to make him and everyone else on the team proud in Music City.”
“I’m super excited to head back to Nashville, it’s such a fun city and it has such great energy. The race has always been interesting and it’s very important to stay clean and consistent. We’ve had a pretty good car there the last two years, so I’m hoping that when we go back we’ll be even better. It will be an interesting weekend to have Linus with us as well, he is new to all of this, just like Tom (Blomqvist) was in Toronto. There will be a lot to learn for him, so we’ll see how he adapts.”