Last season did not go well for Meyer Shank Racing, and their two IndyCar drivers. Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud were expected to propel the team to the next level, putting their vast experience to good use as Team Penske veterans. The results never came, and it was statistically, a nightmare season for the group.

The calendar has flipped to 2023 and the organization has gotten a breath of fresh air. The outlook for this team remains the same - to win races and compete for a championship. While the season-opener at St Petersburg is still more than a month away, the team is off to a good start already.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona is the unofficial kickoff to the motorsports season, and if this race was a test of things to come, Michael Shank's team aced it. Their No. 60 GTP Acura was the class of the field, earning pole position and being at the front for nearly all 24 hours of racing. The overall victory has infused the team with excitement, joy, and confidence.

This is the second consecutive overall win at the Rolex for the team, and Pagenaud. Castroneves earned his third consecutive win, after claiming victory in the 2021 race with Wayne Taylor Racing. Helio is just the second driver (Peter Gregg) in the history of this iconic event to score three consecutive overall victories.

"Big props to everyone here," Castroneves said after the race. "Everyone did an amazing job. Everybody worked so hard together. We got it! Another one, I can’t believe it. This is absolutely a dream come true."

"It’s always fun to climb the fence with Helio,” said Pagenaud. "The competition as amazing. It was tough out there. So much fun. Hope you all had as much fun as we did. I’m going to savor this one."

After their monumental win this weekend, the next step is to prepare for the IndyCar season. They are in desperate need of a turnaround after such a poor showing last year.

This duo of Pagenaud and Castroneves finished 15th and 18th in the final standings and were shut out entirely from victory lane. They combined for just one podium finish and one lap led all of last season. Their average finishing positions (14.2 and 16.5) ranked 19th and 21st among all drivers.

With another year of growth and development, the organization is aiming much higher this season. Their bread and butter will always be Indianapolis, with five Indy 500 wins between this driver duo. The real focus for improvement will come on the road and street courses, where a majority of the races are held.

Castroneves is well regarded for his success on ovals, but the Brazilian has been exceptional at St Petersburg, where he has three wins and nine top-five finishes. Looking at Pagenaud, 12 of his 15 career wins have come on non-ovals. These two are more than capable of winning on any type of circuit, and the team is certainly at that level.

The key to their success will be putting it all together. The pieces are in place, but the competition will be fierce. With 27 full-time entries and every team making improvements over the offseason, the wins won't come easy. Mike Shank knows this, but he is also confident in his people. After weekends like this, it is easy to see why.