Tom Blomqvist gained valuable INDYCAR seat time in the penultimate round of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES at Portland International Raceway as he completed a full race distance and brought his Meyer Shank Racing machine home in 24th place.
INDYCAR rookie Tom Blomqvist (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) - who was recently announced as the first full-season MSR INDYCAR driver on a multi-year agreement with the team - fared far better in his second race than he did in his INDYCAR debut in Toronto where his day ended on the first lap. The road-racing veteran gained valuable race-day seat time as he brought his MSR machine home in 24th place in Portland.
With Blomqvist drafted in for the two remaining races of the season for Simon Pagenaud, who continues to recover from an accident at Mid-Ohio earlier this year, Tom would clock his first-ever miles at the Portland International Raceway during Friday's practice session.
Getting up to speed and learning the INDYCAR ropes, Tom would rack up 200 laps of the circuit across the race weekend giving him vital experience prior to his full-season campaign in 2024.
During the race, Tom overcame a pit lane speeding violation on his second stop, which cost him a drive-through penalty, but he kept his car out of trouble on a day when many others had issues with the narrow and tricky Pacific Northwest layout to finish in 24th place.
Tom will return to the No. 60 machine next weekend for the season-ending race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca - the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
“We finished the race, but for me it was just about learning and I was trying to get a race distance under my belt. We had a bit of a mess up with the pit lane speed violation. The banners that I had been using as a reference for pit lane exit were different, so I had no idea where the exit was. From there on it was just kind of driving around and managing cars coming from behind. I learned a lot, it’s a big challenge, so hopefully we can move forward and have another run at Laguna.
- Tom Blomqvist
Image credit: Meyer Shank Racing