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Helio Castroneves will replace Tom Blomqvist for IndyCar races in Detroit, Road America

Struggling IndyCar rookie Tom Blomqvist will be replaced by veteran Helio Castroneves in Meyer Shank Racing's No. 66 Dallara-Honda for the next two weeks at Detroit and Road America.

In a release late Wednesday afternoon, the team said Blomqvist had "mutually agreed" to step out of the car starting with this weekend's Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

Blomqvist has a best finish of 15th in five starts this season. In his oval debut this past Sunday, he crashed on the first lap of the 108th Indy 500 and took out 2022 winner Marcus Ericsson.

Blomqvist, who is driving the No. 31 Cadillac in IMSA endurance races this year, will remain with MSR.

Tom Blomqvist
Tom Blomqvist

Tom Blomqvist keeps eye on IndyCar during impressive rise: ' I would love to give it a go’

After consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona victories and an IMSA championship, Tom Blomqvist is intrigued by the possiblity of eventually racing in IndyCar.

"It is fair to say that the last couple of days have been some of the hardest in my career,” Blomqvist said in a release. “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."

After Simon Pagenaud's injury at Mid-Ohio last July, Blomqvist made his debut on the streets ofToronto (25th) and also raced for MSR at Portland International Raceway (24th) and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (26th) in preparation for a full-time move to IndyCar this season.

The sports car star had been open about initially feeling “so lost” as he adapted to the physicality of a car without the power steering he had in IMSA.

Blomqvist scored consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona victories with MSR in 2022-23 (which shut down its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team after last season).

“Making this decision was by far the hardest one we have had to make,” MSR co-owner Mike Shank said in a release. “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.”

Castroneves had shifted to a part-time driving role this year while taking on a minority ownership role at MSR as Blomqvist moved full time. Detroit will mark Castroneves first IndyCar start outside of the Indy 500 (he was 20th Sunday) since last year's season finale at Laguna Seca.

Blomqvist's mediocre results were magnified by the performance of teammate Felix Rosenqvist, who has a pole position and two top fives this year.

"Tom is an incredible driver," Castroneves, who was teamed with Blomqvist on the winning Rolex 24 entries, said during a media availability May 14. "I have no doubt about that. I drove with him as a teammate. I know exactly (how good he is). However, these cars today, even for me when I was away and I came back, it was hard to find that potential. And Felix really understands that fine edge. That's what he's really sure about it.

"With Tom, he's discovering some of the tracks (and) obviously the car. And for him, it will take a little bit of time, but I have no doubt. I know people sometimes see him making mistakes, but that's what you've got to do. You've got to find out the limits, and you're going to make mistakes, but I'm 100 percent behind him."