Cleveland-Cliffs Joins Helio Castroneves’ Indianapolis 500 Drive for 5

Indianapolis, Ind. (4 March 2024) – Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) is excited to expand its relationship with Cleveland-Cliffs for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 which will see the American steel company serve as the primary sponsor on Helio Castroneves’ No. 06 MSR Indy car entry.

Castroneves looks to once again make history in the No. 06 Cleveland-Cliffs Indy car and become the first driver in NTT INDYCAR SERIES history to win five Indianapolis 500s. Castroneves scored a record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 victory with MSR in 202. The Brazilian racer joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears as the only drivers in history to win the 500 four times. 

Cleveland-Cliffs has been a part of MSR’s team since the 2022 INDYCAR season and the fast-growing steel company continues to expand its role with the team, now serving as primary sponsor for the Indy 500 effort in addition to its presence on both full-season entries of Tom Blomqvist and Felix Rosenqvist.

As the largest flat-rolled steel company in North America, Cleveland-Cliffs has over 9,000 employees amongst its three Indiana facilities located in East Chicago, Columbus, and Burns Harbor. Just like Castroneves’ unparalleled passion for motorsports, Cleveland-Cliffs has a deep-rooted passion for the steel industry. The company prides itself in championing for American union jobs, the environment and the American steel industry as a whole. 

Cliffs continues to drive innovation to produce the next generation of industry-changing grades of steel that are lightweight, strong and formable steel for evolving needs of its customers. Cliffs has a dedicated state-of-the art Research and Innovation Center (RIC) located in Middletown, Ohio where innovation and collaboration meet to develop and launch new steel products and processes. 

With Cleveland-Cliffs’ presence in the state of Indiana, the move to headline Castroneves’ entry in the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 was a logical one for the rapidly growing company. 

“Cleveland-Cliffs has been such an amazing partner to us since they came onboard in 2022 and it’s great to see how they have really integrated themselves into our team and to INDYCAR as whole,” said MSR Team Owner, Mike Shank. “Cleveland-Cliffs is not only a part of our two full-season entries, but for them to take the jump on Helio’s 500 car is really something special. It is a top priority for us to help get Helio that fifth 500 win in one of our cars, and to have Cliffs here to support that journey, we are very lucky.”

“Cleveland-Cliffs is not just a name on the side of our car, they have created and produced actual products that we use on our Indy cars,” continued Shank. “If you look closely, the mufflers on each of our cars are created by Cliffs in their Columbus, Indiana facility and they have become well integrated into our operation – even making the crowd barrier that we use during race weekends. So this relationship goes beyond a typical partnership, and it’s truly mutually beneficial.”

Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. said, “Cleveland-Cliffs is proud to partner with Meyer Shank Racing and Helio Castroneves as the team seeks Helio’s record setting fifth victory of the iconic American race. The racing world sets its eyes on Indiana every May for the Indianapolis 500 and having Helio drive the No. 06 Cleveland-Cliffs Indy car will be an exciting moment for our Cliffs team members. The Indy 500 and steel have a long tradition in the state. Indiana is the largest steel producing state in the nation and we are proud to have over 9,000 employees in Indiana producing the best steel in the world. With Meyer Shank Racing, we celebrate teamwork, determination and hopefully soon a record setting fifth Indy 500 win for Helio.”

With Castroneves’ new role as minority partner with Meyer Shank Racing, the Brazilian will be at each of the 2024 INDYCAR season races serving as engineer and driver support for both Blomqvist and Rosenqvist. Castroneves will take off his team owner hat and put on his driver helmet starting in April as preparations officially begin for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 with the Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 10-11