IndyCar

Newgarden Takes Toronto Victory after Lucky Caution

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Josef Newgarden beat Alexander Rossi to victory in Toronto on Sunday - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Josef Newgarden moved himself firmly into the 2017 title picture after taking a second win of the year around the streets of Toronto on Sunday.

The early stages of the race were dominated by Newgarden’s Team Penske team-mates Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud, but a caution period changed the complete nature of the race and shuffled up the order.

Newgarden was already in pit lane when Tony Kanaan crashed on cold tyres into the turn one tyre wall, and with the pits immediately closed when the caution flags flew, those who had not pitted, which included the two race leaders and third placed Graham Rahal, fell down the pack when they did pit when the pits opened.

After this, Newgarden was untroubled until the chequered flag to take his fifth career Verizon IndyCar Series victory, while Alexander Rossi profited from the same caution period to claim second for Andretti Herta Autosport, his best result in the championship aside from his 2016 Indianapolis 500 triumph.

James Hinchcliffe claimed his second podium in as many years at Toronto with third place for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, with the Canadian well clear of the rest of the field, which was led by Marco Andretti, who took his best result since his podium at Auto Club Speedway back in 2015.

Pagenaud, who started on pole position, recovered to fifth and finished on Andretti’s tail, while Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed sixth for Andretti Autosport despite late race pressure from Max Chilton of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Castroneves ended the day in eighth despite having made a great move to take the lead on the opening lap at turn one on the inside of both Pagenaud and Rahal, with the early stages of the race looking like a Penske procession at the front, with the veteran Brazilian then on course for a second victory in as many weekends, only for Kanaan’s incident to determine otherwise.

Behind Castroneves came Rahal, while Scott Dixon completed the top ten for Chip Ganassi Racing despite a first lap tangle with Will Power at the end of the back straight on lap one.

Dixon appeared to edge across the track into Power, pushing the Australian into the wall and damaging the Team Penske drivers’ suspension, with the damage enough for him to retire from the race.

Dixon pitted with a puncture and again to repair a rear brake duct, only to then be handed a drive-through penalty due to his mechanics carrying out excessive work on his car while the pit lane was closed. Despite all of this, he remained on the lead lap, and then moved forward in the closing laps, ultimately denying Sebastian Saavedra a top ten finish.

The New Zealander continues to lead the championship on 423 points, three ahead of Castroneves with Pagenaud and Newgarden both within touching distance.

Streets of Toronto Race Result

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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