Lucky break sees Power take Toronto victory

Will Power - Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

The championship charge by Will Power continued around the streets of Toronto on Sunday as the Australian took advantage of a well-timed caution period to assume the lead and take the chequered flag.

For the first half of the race, it was Scott Dixon who was setting a strong pace at the front of the field, but a caution period to clear up the crashed car of Josef Newgarden fell just as Power was in the pits for his final stop, meant Dixon and championship leader Simon Pagenaud were heavily compromised by being forced to pit once the field had bunched up behind the safety car, leaving them down the order behind drivers who had pitted, including Power.

Once three-stopping Tony Kanaan made his final stop from the lead with just fifteen laps remaining, Power was left out in front to claim his third victory in four races to jump into second in the championship despite having missed the season opening race at St Petersburg due to illness.

Helio Castroneves was also lucky with the caution period to take second place and make it a Team Penske 1-2, despite the Brazilian having been forced to pit with a left front puncture just before his first scheduled stop while running second behind Dixon that dropped him a number of places as a result.

James Hinchcliffe had an up-and-down afternoon in his home event, dropping a number of places in the early stages but running a great fuel-saving strategy in the second half to claim the final podium position for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport.

Kanaan’s impressive speed before his final pit stop after the caution period for Newgarden’s turn five crash saw him able to resume track position in fourth, a position the Chip Ganassi Racing driver would hold until the chequered flag, with Takuma Sato running a similar strategy to Hinchcliffe to claim fifth for AJ Foyt Racing.

Mikhail Aleshin secured a strong sixth for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport ahead of Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing, while Dixon and Pagenaud, the long time 1-2 in the field finishing eighth and ninth for Ganassi and Penske respectively.

Despite starting at the back of the field, Marco Andretti came through to claim tenth for Andretti Autosport, ahead of Charlie Kimball, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal, all of whom were compromised on the first lap when they tangled at turn eight, all three making unscheduled pit stops with damage.

A late race caution saw Jack Hawksworth and Juan Pablo Montoya both hit the wall at turn five in separate incidents leaving just one lap of green flag running at the end, but Power’s six push-to-passes left him untouchable at the front as he took his twenty-eighth career Verizon IndyCar Series victory.

Toronto Race Result

112Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:42:38.6925
23Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske+1.5275
35James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+2.5303
410Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing+3.7758
514Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises+4.0568
67Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+5.1145
711Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing+5.6393
89Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing+6.1020
922Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske+6.6355
1027Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport+6.9746
1183Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing+7.4782
1228Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport+8.0690
1315Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+8.5989
1419Luca FilippiITADale Coyne Racing+8.9217
1518Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing+9.4068
1698Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport+9.6896
1726Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport+10.0568
188Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing+10.6502
1920Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing+11.4494
202Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske+1 Lap
RET41Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt EnterprisesRetired
RET21Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter RacingRetired