Tom Blomqvist benched for next 2 races following opening lap crash at Indianapolis 500

Helio Castroneves will run the next two IndyCar races in place of Tom Blomqvist, who was part of an opening lap crash that eliminated three cars at the start of the Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves, who is now part of the ownership group at Meyer Shank Racing, will drive the No. 66 this weekend in Detroit and next month at Road America. The team said Wednesday they “have mutually agreed” for Blomqvist to step aside for two races.

Blomqvist won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in consecutive years and the IMSA championship for MSR and remains part of the team.

“Making this decision was by far the hardest one we have had to make,” said MSR co-owner, Mike Shank. “Tom is 100% still a part of the MSR family and will remain a part of the team for the rest of the season. The decision was not made lightly and after much discussion with Tom, and with back-to-back races coming up, we have decided to have Helio drive in Detroit and at Road America.”

Blomqvist has struggled in his first full IndyCar season, especially compared to teammate Felix Rosenqvist. His best qualifying effort of the year is 12th and his best finish was 15th in the March season-opener.

Rosenqvist, meanwhile, has a pole and two top-five finishes. He was on the podium at the exhibition All-Star race in March.

“It is fair to say that the last couple of days have been some of the hardest in my career,” said Blomqvist. “Everyone who knows me knows how much I love being a part of the MSR family and together we have enjoyed some amazing successes and victories. I am looking forward to remaining part of the MSR family and contributing to the MSR vision as we chase down further successes in the future.”


AP auto racing:

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