Meyer Shank Racing has confirmed that Helio Castroneves will drive a part-time schedule for the team for the 2021 IndyCar season.
The new deal will see the 45-year-old veteran race at six races next season, including the Indy 500 which is planned to return to its traditional spot on the calendar near the end of May.
This will allow Castroneves to compete in an impressive 21st Indy 500, and will give him a shot at earning a glass of milk for a historic fourth time.
Castroneves will drive a second car for the growing team at a total of six races over the course of the season. Aside from the Indy 500, these include the road courses of Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach, the August event at the IMS road course, Portland, and the season finale at Laguna Seca.
“I’m super excited to be joining Meyer Shank Racing for six IndyCar races next year,” said Castroneves.
“Mike [Shank] and I know each other from a long time ago and I raced with the team at Daytona.
“I can’t thank enough Team Penske for all of these years with them, but now it’s a new chapter in my life and I’m excited to join MSR and an incredible group of friends.
“I’m back man! I can’t wait to get into the racecar right now. I’m ecstatic!”
MSR has been slowly expanding its IndyCar programme over the past few years, and contested its first full season in 2020 with Jack Harvey behind the wheel.
Castroneves will partner with Harvey, who comes off the best season of his career that saw him earn six top-10 finishes across the season.
Team owner Mike Shank has stated in the past that he intends to grow his IndyCar operation from one car to two in the near future, and this is the first step in realizing the goal of running a full multi-car team.
“We’re really excited to have Helio come onboard with us next year,” said Shank.
“The idea to start off with six races for the second IndyCar was another strategic plan. As I’ve always said in the past, we will never bite off more than we can chew.
“It’s always been one of our goals to expand the IndyCar program, and this is the best way that we can start that.
“The passion Helio has is as strong as any 20-year-old out there right now. The knowledge he has is times four of anybody out there.”
The last time Castroneves ran a full IndyCar season was 2017, when the Brazilian wrapped up his 18-year run as a full-time driver for Team Penske.
Since then he has only driven the Indy 500 as well as the accompanying race on the IMS road course, but will now expand to six races for next season.
The first race that fans will get to see Castroneves back on track will be at Barber Motorsports Park on April 11, for the second round of the 2021 NTT IndyCar season.