Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon was victorious in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, stretching his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship to over 60 points.
Dixon, who started second in Sunday’s race, moved into the lead on Lap 33 after pole sitter Josef Newgarden brushed the Turn 11 wall.
“It was definitely easy to pick up lots of debris on the tyres out there, and I think that’s what happened to Josef (Newgarden) on that restart where we took the lead,” said Dixon.
The tight and bumpy Toronto street course caused for difficult driving conditions, with the race seeing a number of yellow flags.
The first full-course yellow of the day came on Lap 27 when Alexander Rossi made contact with Penske’s Will Power on the backstretch, which saw the Andretti Autosport driver break his front wing.
“He (Will Power) had a bit of a problem going into Turn 3 and I misjudged the closing rate,” Rossi said on the incident.
The biggest crash of the day came just after the restart on Lap 34 when multiple cars got involved in a pile-up in Turn 1.
“I had a really good run and was going to the right, and then (Jordan) King popped out and hit the brakes. I went left to try to avoid him, got into the back of (Max) Chilton just a little bit.” said Graham Rahal. “We started to get to mid-corner and were OK, and then, wham, I got absolutely drilled from behind. I don’t really know by whom, but ultimately, obviously, I started the whole train of it.” In total, six cars were involved in the incident.
For the third straight year a Canadian driver finished on the podium, giving the Toronto fans cause for celebration.
“It was amazing. Thankfully I’m not an overly teary guy, but that (finishing on the podium in Canada) was really cool,” said SPM Racing’s Robert Wickens. I think I had a great fight with Page (Simon Pagenaud). I thought maybe second (place finish) was in the cards for me, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
In what was his first professional race in Canada, Wickens had very positive things to say about the hometown fans.
“I can’t thank these Toronto fans enough. I mean this whole week has been such a whirlwind of emotions and to stand on the podium soon in my first professional home race – I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Toronto crowd favourite James Hinchcliffe rounded out a strong showing for the Schmidt Peterson team, bringing his #5 Arrow Honda home in fourth place.
“Honestly, the Arrow car was still pretty great and in that last stint we were still chasing down the leaders and who knows what could have been,” said Hinchcliffe. “Ultimately [I’m] happy for Robbie to be on the podium and two SPM cars in the top five.”
Up next for the series will be Mid Ohio in two weeks time, where championship contenders will have to pull out all the stops to prevent leader Scott Dixon from reaching Victory Lane. The New Zealand native has won five of the last ten races at the Lexington Ohio road course.