Will Power won the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto

04CJ0263Will Power makes his exit of Turn 5 during the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Chris Jones

Started from 4th place Car 12 Will Power, won the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto. 2nd Place Car 3 Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, started from 2nd place. 3rd Place Car 5 James Hinchcliffe, Honda, started from 6th place.

04CJ0738Will Power, Helio Castroneves, and James Hinchcliffe hoist their trophies in Victory Lane following the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Chris Jones

4th Place Car 10 Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, started from 12th place followed by
5th Place Car 14 Takuma Sato, Honda, started from 20th place. 6th Place Car 7 Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, started from 10th place followed by 7th place Car 11 Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, started from 5th place. 8th Place Car Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, started from pole followed by 9th place Car 22 Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, started from 3rd place. Lastly in the Top 10 Car 27 Marco Andretti, Honda, in 10th place, started from 22nd place.

04CJ0039Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves lead the field to the green flag to start the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Chris Jones

The race had 5 Cautions cautions for 16 laps: 1st Caution on lap 2 for Contact: Car 15 Graham Rahal, Honda, Car 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda and Car 83 Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet in Turn 8. 2nd Caution on lap 6 for Debris on backstretch. 3rd Caution on lap 45 for Debris in turn 3 and surface in turns 1 and 5. 4th Caution on lap 58 for Contact: Car 21 Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet in Turn 5. 5th Caution on lap 82 for Contact: Car 2 Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet and Car 41 Jack Hawksworth, Honda in Turn 5.

04CJ0547AJames Hinchcliffe chases down the field into Turn 11 during the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Chris Jones

The race had 6 Lead changes among 6 drivers: Lap Leaders: Dixon 1-26, Pagenaud 27, Bourdais 28, Daly 29, Dixon 30-59, Kanaan 60-75, Power 76-85,

_9SG7625-1Jack Hawksworth peels out of pit lane following a stop during the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Pagenaud 432, Power 385, Castroneves 358, Dixon 349, Newgarden 344, Kanaan 339, Rossi 300, Hinchcliffe 299, Kimball 294, Munoz 293.

_9SG7482-1Will Power makes his way up to Turn 4 during the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher

Power catches good break to win Honda Indy Toronto for third time

TORONTO (Sunday, July 17, 2016) – Will Power feels he’s been on the wrong side of enough caution periods in the Verizon IndyCar Series that he’ll gladly accept the timely one that helped him win the Honda Indy Toronto.

The 2014 series champion claimed his third win of the season and third on the streets of Exhibition Place by 1.5275 seconds over teammate Helio Castroneves, driving directly into the 2016 championship conversation in the process. Power now sits second in the standings despite missing the season opener, 47 points behind teammate Simon Pagenaud.

“Getting close, that’s good,” said Power, who sat out the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March with an inner-ear infection after winning the pole in qualifying. “It’s good to get this momentum for the team going forward for the rest of the championship. Five (races) to go, all good tracks for me.

“If we can close that gap going into (the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in September), we can do this, we can win this championship, absolutely.”

Starting fourth, Power trailed pole sitter Scott Dixon, Castroneves and Pagenaud most of the first two-thirds of the 85-lap battle on the 1.786-mile temporary street course – the 32nd Indy car race in Toronto. Power was running third on Lap 58 when race strategist Tim Cindric ordered him to the pits just before a full-course caution came out when Josef Newgarden’s car made contact with the wall in Turn 5, closing the pits.

Power cycled ahead of Dixon and Pagenaud – who had to wait to for their stops until the pits were opened during the caution period – then the Australian waited in second place until leader Tony Kanaan had to stop for fuel nine laps from the finish.

“The team called me in just at the last minute. Perfect timing,” said Power, whose third Toronto win ties him with Dario Franchitti and trails only Michael Andretti’s seven victories at the track. “I can’t tell you how many times it has gone the opposite way for me at this place and many other places. But I was so stoked to see yellow lights as I was going into pit lane. It’s not often you catch a yellow like that.”

Power held off Castroneves, in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet, on a last-lap restart to collect his 28th career Indy car win – moving the 35-year-old ahead of Johnny Rutherford alone into 13th on the all-time victories list. One win ahead of Power are Castroneves and retired Rick Mears, now a Team Penske driver coach.

Castroneves overcame a punctured left-front tire midway through the race to record his 40th career runner-up finish – second all-time to Mario Andretti’s 56. Castroneves is third in the standings, 74 points behind Pagenaud.

“It’s a shame (about the puncture),” Castroneves said, “but don’t get me wrong, the Pennzoil Chevrolet machine was really strong. Second (in the race) is better than third.”

04CJ0661James Hinchcliffe is introduced to the crowd during pre-race festivities for the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Chris Jones

James Hinchcliffe thrilled the partisan Toronto crowd by finishing third in his hometown race in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda. His best previous Toronto showing was eighth place in six previous races.

“For once in my career here in Toronto we caught a lucky break,” Hinchcliffe said. “It’s not just that I haven’t had great luck here, I’ve had insanely bad luck here. Today we were on the other side of that. It’s part of Indy car racing.”

04CJ9855— Photo by: Chris Jones

Verizon P1 Award winner Dixon finished eighth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and points leader Pagenaud ninth in the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet. Newgarden, the defending Toronto winner, finished 22nd and last after his crash. He was checked and released from the infield care center but, according to Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR medical director, will have his right hand that was fractured in a June 12 crash at Texas Motor Speedway re-evaluated Monday before he is cleared to drive.

The Verizon IndyCar Series heads next to The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio from July 29-31. Dixon, the reigning series champion, is a five-time winner at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The race airs live at 2 p.m. ET July 31 on CNBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network with a re-air on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m.

Local hockey stars enjoy seeing Honda Indy Toronto up close

A pair of Ontario hockey stars attended the Honda Indy Toronto for the first time and were thrilled with what they saw.

Mike Hoffman, the Ottawa Senators’ leading scorer in 2015-16, and Lawson Crouse, the Florida Panthers’ first selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, met with Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Conor Daly and Graham Rahal before the race, and participated in a jersey exchange with fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe.

“This is my first time coming to a motor racing event,” said Hoffman, the left wing from Kitchener, Ontario, who had 29 goals and 30 assists for Ottawa this season. “I’m really into cars so I figured I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to meet some of the drivers and see how they do things.”

Rahal explained to the players how he climbed through the developmental driving levels before reaching the Verizon IndyCar Series. Hoffman could relate.

“They’re at the highest stage, they worked their way up,” Hoffman, 26, said. “Start as a kid, same as us, go through the so-called minor leagues – their racing tiers. It’s like us going through junior hockey to starting professionally and working your way up.”

Also a first-time visitor to the Honda Indy Toronto, Crouse appreciated the finer points of Indy car racing.

“The detail that goes into the racing is incredible,” said Crouse, 19, who played in the Ontario Hockey League this season. “As a guy that’s watched races on TV, you don’t really think about how much work they put into it. You kind of take it for granted and then you come here and really appreciate the hard work that they put in.”

Mazda Road to Indy results

Felix Rosenqvist (Belardi Auto Racing) completed a sweep of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires weekend by winning today’s race. Aaron Telitz did the same in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, moving into a tie with Team Pelfrey teammate Pato O’Ward for the points lead in the process. Parker Thompson, a native of Red Deer, Alberta, won the second race of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda weekend in his home race.

“What They’re Saying” from the Honda Indy Toronto

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet): “Yeah, it’s terrible. On Friday, I made a mistake and went into the wall so we got behind. In the morning yesterday we had a misfire with the engine and didn’t do any laps before qualifying. We didn’t qualify as well as we could. We knew we had a good race car though. The DeVilbiss Chevy was really good. I passed a lot of people and had a lot of fun. I thought I had an easy podium if not more. We missed a pit call by about two seconds. I started at the back. I was running with the No. 28 (Ryan Hunter-Reay) there late and went to turn with him, but the No. 41 (Jack Hawksworth) was in the wall and there was nowhere to go. It seems like every weekend there is something, and it’s getting really old really fast.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3. Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m smiling because I know we didn’t win, but the Pennzoil Chevrolet car was really strong. When we felt the car vibrating and I was just telling Roger, ‘Hey listen, it’s just vibration. But let’s not pit.’ Then, all of a sudden I felt the car pulling and the tire just gave up. I’m not sure why. I noticed the curb in Turn 5, it could be. I don’t know. Finally, we got a little break on the yellow. It put us back in the position to fight. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to pass so I tried everything I could, and in the end I was like, ‘OK this is the chance,’ but Will had like six push to pass. I only had three. It was very difficult to get the tires going but Roger and the entire Pennzoil Chevrolet guys, man, I’m so proud to be part of this team. These guys are never giving up. Thanks everyone. Let’s keep going. Let’s move to the next one.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “As we’re coming out of that last restart, I saw everybody in the last section get to their feet and I was just hoping I didn’t screw it up. It was obviously a great day to have a good day and for once we caught a lucky break in Toronto. I’m not going to lie and sit here say we had third place pace. We really struggled on blacks in the middle stint. But as the cloud cover came out in that last stint, the track really kind of came to us so we had to save fuel. The car was there. Can’t thank Arrow Electronics and the Schmidt Peterson guys enough. To do it here in Toronto, Petro Canada, Pizza, Pizza on board for the weekend. There’s going to be a party tonight in Hinchtown for sure.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda): “The team did an amazing job and that’s what allowed me to be in the top six in the SMP Racing car. Sixth place is great for the points championship and we’re going to aim for even more next time. Thanks to the SMP crew and now we’ll focus on Mid-Ohio.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It was a challenging day for the Gallagher team. I felt our speed in the second half of the stint was in about the top six out there. It was frustrating because when the time counted I just couldn’t get the tires to come in. And that in turn was part of the reason I had the accident later on when I couldn’t get the fronts to turn. Luckily the guys did a great job in changing the front wing quickly and they kept us on the lead lap. Frustrating day but it was good to finally get the track time and some experience here on this circuit as most all other drivers had been here previously.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “Obviously not the result that we wanted today for Team Target after starting on pole and leading all those laps in the first few stints. It was looking like it was going to be our race all afternoon but the timing of how everything worked out just took it away from us. It was just about as frustrating of a race as you can have.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet): “I think we had something for (James) Hinchcliffe. For sure, I think they had to save fuel and I didn’t. It was a risky move for us but it worked out. Big props to Todd (Malloy, lead engineer), Barry (Wanser, strategist) and my NTT Data guys. We’re getting there… we’re getting closer and closer every weekend.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “Obviously it was not the result the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Team was looking for today. I think the car was better than that, it was hooked up, but we seem to degrade the red tires too much. On blacks we seem to be strong. The real problem was that yellow for ‘track repair.’ It was a killer because I was managing the red tires at that point, which were falling off really bad, and once the yellow came out I had to make the restart on those and it was game over. I am disappointed about the result, but in the group of guys that were with us, we are not the ones who came out the worst. It is not where we want to finish, but we did the best with what we had.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Verizon Chevrolet team has been doing a great job. Obviously we have been playing catch-up all year, but every race they are executing. We are getting great strategies, great cars. We just have to keep chipping away, chipping away at this and see if we can have a shot at this. (On being second in points) I don’t know what the points situation is right now, all I know is that we have to keep finishing ahead of the No. 22 (Simon Pagenaud) if we want a shot at the title.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “A difficult weekend that ended up quite sweet for the No. 14 car with a fantastic result after having had a difficult qualifying and then going through the field. Larry and the engineers made the right call for the strategy and the ABC Supply Honda worked really well and the pit stops were really fantastic. I was able to overtake a few cars on track. We were able to save fuel which was really tight, but a couple yellows saved us. I’m proud of my guys, we achieved a really good result.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rousseau Metal Honda): “We got unlucky with that caution (Josef Newgarden); it killed our strategy. Kimball hit us on the start and flattened our tire so right away we were behind the eight ball. That’s the way some of these have gone this year. We fight awfully hard but we have work to do.”

CONOR DALY (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda): “It was a really weird race. It was really, really tough to defend from anyone, even though overall we were quicker. We were good into Turn 1 and I’d get runs, but I couldn’t defend myself and I couldn’t pass even with overtake. We have to look into that. Other than that, a lot of contact, beating and banging. Some pretty unfair driving every now and then, but it is what it is. It’s just a shame that it worked out that way. I made one big mistake on the restart that really kind of put us out of contention, but I have no idea why that happened. I’ve never experienced the cold tire grip that the blacks had in my life, so it was really weird.”

LUCA FILIPPI (No. 19 IMPCO ComfortPro Honda): “The race went the opposite way than we wanted. We started on black Firestones and tried to survive in our position, which we did as we were running 10th. Everything was good up until then, but we lost a couple of positions after our stop and I couldn’t make those reds work for us at that point. But it was still decent and we had the potential to finish in the top 10, easily. However, a yellow came out at the wrong time and it killed our race. It’s a shame. I wish we had more luck to be able to show our pace. It would have been nice to put some laps together and get up front.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “We just struggled to get the tires up to temperature. I locked up on the second to last restart and flat spotted the tires so we had to come in and pit. We just didn’t really have the pace today to compete towards the Top 10. I also had a broken front wing which definitely did not help. I just want to thank Ed Carpenter Racing and Rising Star Racing for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get back in the Fuzzy’s Vodka car in Mid-Ohio.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services/ECR Chevrolet): “It is an error on my part. I hate to blame it on an injury, but I hit the curb too hard and lost the wheel. I couldn’t hang on to the wheel. I didn’t have the strength to hold on to the wheel. I feel terrible for our guys. We had a good race going. We were fighting back. We got put back for an incident that I don’t think was our fault. We fought our way back. We could have had a good finish there. My mistake and I feel bad because we are going to lose some points there. (On the hand) It’s just sore. I wish my grip strength was better right now but it’s not. Probably not where I need to be. I should have stayed off the curb. I knew better than to hit it that hard with my grip strength where it is.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “The PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet was much stronger than what the results showed. It’s really unfortunate. I was really happy that I was able to run second for most of the race. We trimmed the car great midway through the race and it was really strong at the end, but unfortunately we got caught on the last yellow and that shuffled us to the back. We were able to get back inside the top 10 which was a great performance. We lost quite a bit of points today, but over the performance is there. It’s there every week. That’s the silver lining to see how competitive we are. So, we go to Mid-Ohio which is a track that suits me very well. I’m very excited about it.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “It was a disappointing race. We had some issues with a wheel and I had to do a whole lap with only three wheels. We lost a whole lap from that, but we showed our pace was pretty decent today. We made a lot of changes overnight and it seems like it worked. We’ll have to see what we have once we get to Mid-Ohio.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Dr Pepper Honda): “Glad we could get a top-10 finish for Dr Pepper. Considering where we started, we made up some ground, but we’ve really got to get better as a whole. It’s definitely been a frustrating weekend when it comes to pace. We have to improve mechanical grip to make it easier on the driver. Time to focus forward on Mid-Ohio and see what we can get done there.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “It was a struggle of a day, really couldn’t do anything with the car. Thought we had a promising direction for the DHL car in warm-up but it didn’t translate to the race. We were absolutely struggling out there, it was similar to Long Beach. The last couple road course races we finished third and fourth, but this one was far from that so we’ll need to go back and work on that and get back on the podium at Mid-Ohio.”

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Very difficult. We weren’t very good on the reds but we were okay on the blacks and we were running up there at the end. The brakes started to go away and we lost a little bit of performance. Then in the last five laps I didn’t have any front brakes and was just about hanging on, and then Pagenaud ran into the back of me and that was it. I can’t believe it really. It is what it is.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet): “Overall just a really great day for the No. 83 car. The result wasn’t what we wanted, being outside the top 10. I think with the opportunity we definitely had a top five car today. I feel really good about the guys on pit lane. The second stop under yellow we made up a couple spots and we never gave them back. It was unfortunate the yellow came out when it did but we’ll take the points and move on to Mid-Ohio, I’ve got a pretty good record there and I’m looking forward to it. Honestly the fans were great here all weekend and it’s such a pleasure coming up to Toronto each year for the (race). I think it’s definitely one of the highlights and is rapidly becoming one of my favorite stops on the series.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda): “I think we had the potential to be top five today, but the way that second-to-last yellow fell, we lost a lot of track position and it’s impossible to pass around here. It was always going to be a tough race starting from 19th, so we need to qualify better at Mid-Ohio and work hard for a better result.”

2016 Honda Indy Toronto race results

TORONTO – Results Sunday of the Honda Indy Toronto Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.786-mile Exhibition Place circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (4) Car 12 Will Power, Chevrolet, 85, Running
2. (2) Car 3 Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 85, Running
3. (6) Car 5 James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 85, Running
4. (12) Car 10 Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 85, Running
5. (20) Car 14 Takuma Sato, Honda, 85, Running
6. (10) Car 7 Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 85, Running
7. (5) Car 11 Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 85, Running
8. (1) Car Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 85, Running
9. (3) Car 22 Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 85, Running
10. (22) Car 27 Marco Andretti, Honda, 85, Running
11. (17) Car 83 Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 85, Running
12. (18) Car 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 85, Running
13. (16) Car 15 Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
14. (11) Car 19 Luca Filippi, Honda, 85, Running
15. (7) Car 18 Conor Daly, Honda, 85, Running
16. (19) Car 98 Alexander Rossi, Honda, 85, Running
17. (15) Car 26 Carlos Munoz, Honda, 85, Running
18. (14) Car 8 Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 85, Running
19. (21) Car 20 Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 85, Running
20. (9) Car 2 Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 84, Running
21. (13) Car 41 Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 80, Contact
22. (8) Car 21 Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 57, Contact

Race Statistics:
Winners average speed: 88.739
Time of Race: 1:42:38.6925
Margin of victory: 1.5275 seconds

Next Race: July 31 HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – Lexington, OH

Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar

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