Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report - Toronto

July 16, 2017

Track:                      Streets of Toronto
Race:                       Honda Indy Toronto
Date:                        July 16, 2017

No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start:  1st   (10th career INDYCAR pole position)
Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 2
Points Position: 3rd (-19)

Recap: The No. 1 DXC Technology Chevrolet team and driver Simon Pagenaud have been working to find the right combination this season and they feel like they may have found it this weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto. Pagenaud collected his first Verizon P1 Pole Award of 2017 on Saturday when he posted the top lap in Firestone Fast Six qualifying. When the green flag waved on Sunday, Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves dove to the inside of Pagenaud in Turn 1 to take the early-race lead. Pagenaud, the defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion, settled into the second position and he continued to run behind Castroneves through the first stint of the race. Unfortunately, Pagenaud did not make a stop prior to a Lap 23 caution flag while Team Penske teammate and eventual race winner Josef Newgarden did. The timing of the caution allowed Newgarden to move to the front while Pagenaud and the other race leaders were stuck back in the pack once the race resumed. Pagenaud and the DXC Technology team worked their way back through the field over the course of the 85-lap race on the streets of Toronto and crossed the line in fifth place line to record the reigning champ's ninth top-five finish of the season. Through 12 events in 2017, Pagenaud remains the only series competitor to complete every lap. That consistency has paid off for Pagenaud in the point standings as he holds down the third position – now just 19 markers behind series leader Scott Dixon.

Quote: "The DXC Technology Chevrolet was tremendous all weekend. We just didn't get that first stop in before the yellow like Josef (Newgarden) did and that was pretty much the difference. Overall, it was a good weekend for us. We made up some ground in points and it's always great to visit Toronto. I kind of felt like we’ve been missing something this season and we may have found it this weekend. Honestly, this is the most comfortable I’ve felt in the car all season. I do want to congratulate the No. 2 team and all of Team Penske on their win today."

No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start:  7th
Finish: 1st   (5th career INDYCAR victory)
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 58
Points Position: 4th (-23)

Recap: Josef Newgarden took full advantage of great timing on his first pit stop and a very fast No. 2 DeVilbiss Chevrolet on Sunday in the Honda Indy Toronto to produce his fifth career Verizon IndyCar Series victory. After starting seventh, Newgarden drove the No. 2 Team Penske machine down pit road for his first stop of the race on Lap 23 just as Tony Kanaan went into the tire barrier in Turn 1 to bring out the caution flag. By getting the stop in early, Newgarden was able to gain valuable track position when the other race leaders made their stops after the pit lane was opened. Newgarden took the lead on Lap 25 as the rest of the field cycled through their first stops. From there it was a matter of staying mistake free. The 26-year-old Newgarden briefly surrendered the lead during his final visit to pit lane, but a strong stop put the No. 2 car back at the front. After leading a race-high 58 laps, Newgarden took the checkered flag by 1.87 seconds over Alexander Rossi. For Newgarden, it marked his second win of the season after picking up his first Team Penske victory in April at Barber Motorsports Park. The Nashville native now owns a pair of victories in Toronto and he has won two of the last three events north of the border. In the championship standings, the win propelled Newgarden into the fourth spot and he is now just 23 points out of the lead as the series next visits the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, July 30.

Quote: "I think that is twice I have had good calls and got into the pits at the right time. Thank you to the guys and thank you to Tim (Cindric) for making that call. We got it right, but it was all about managing the race after that. I thought we had a very fast car; we got a pretty good start, and stayed out of the mayhem. Very, very happy for all of Team Penske and this DeVilbiss Chevy was pretty bright but it was pretty fast, too. I am pumped for all the No. 2 car guys today. They did an amazing job for Team Penske today."

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start:  3rd
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 24
Points Position: 2nd (-3)
Recap: Coming on the heels of his 30th-career win, Helio Castroneves enjoyed another strong Verizon IndyCar Series weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto as he pulled off a great move early in the race and produced a top-10 finish. In Turn 1 on the opening lap of Sunday’s race, Castroneves saw an opening and made a daring move inside of teammate and polesitter Simon Pagenaud to capture the race lead. If it weren’t for the unfortunate timing of a caution flag, Castroneves may have turned the move into his second consecutive win. Castroneves led the first 24 laps but when the yellow flag waved after the No. 10 car of Tony Kanaan went into the tires, Castroneves and the other leaders had to wait until pit lane was opened to make their stops. This allowed the cars that stopped before the incident to move to the front while Castroenves returned to the track in the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet running in the middle of the pack. By Lap 40, he was able to work his way through the field to the ninth position and he remained inside the top-10 for the remainder of the event. Castroneves took the checkered flag in the eighth position as he produced his 11th top-10 result in 12 races this season. The finish also allowed Castroneves to draw closer to leader Scott Dixon in the championship standings as he remains second, now just three points from the lead. Castroneves and the rest of the series next heads to Mid-Ohio in two weeks, where the three-time Indy 500 winner has two previous victories on his resume.

Quote: "(On his pass for the lead at the start) In 1997 I did a move like that in Indy Lights when I was driving here. It was really funny – because I'm like, 'Man, I'm going to go for it.' As soon as we were braking we had the reds (Firestone alternate tires) and the car was really good. I didn't lock (the brakes) or anything – it was a clean pass. I told the guys, 'Listen, I'm going to be fair but if there is an opportunity I'll take it.' Great job – great job to everybody at Team Penske and to Josef (Newgarden). Obviously, the yellow there was a little tough in the Hitachi Chevrolet, but I'll tell you what, our cars were good and this place is always like that. Whoever is in the lead sometimes gets caught with the yellow and gets the bad side of it."

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 4th
Finish: 21st
Status: Contact
Laps Completed: 0/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 5th (-64)

Recap: Will Power's race was disappointingly cut short Sunday despite having a strong No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet heading into the Honda Indy Toronto. Unfortunately Power, the 2016 race winner on the streets of Toronto, was unable to complete the opening lap. Power had a great run heading into Turn 3 after taking the green flag in the fourth position but he made contact with Scott Dixon and the incident caused significant damage to the right front suspension of the Verizon Chevy. The car was taken to the paddock where the No. 12 team worked tirelessly to try and put the car back into racing shape, but ultimately Power was unable to continue. Without being able to race and score above the minimum points on Sunday, Power left Toronto fifth in Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. The 2014 series champ now trails Dixon, who was able to continue in the race after the incident, by 64 points in the championship standings. Power and the rest of Team Penske will return to action on July 30 in Mid-Ohio.

Quote: "It was a really disappointing day for the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team. We had a strong car all weekend and I know it could have been really fast during the race. We had bad luck on the first lap and it ruined the rest of the race since we could not get it repaired to go back out. We've performed really well at Toronto in the past so we're just disappointed we couldn't give the fans at Toronto the show we knew we could put on."

Next Race: The Verizon IndyCar Series takes a week off before heading to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 28-30 for the Honda Indy 200. Sunday's race coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on CNBC. Tune into the INDYCAR Radio Network or log on to for additional coverage. There will be an encore presentation of the race on NBC Sports Network beginning at 7 p.m. ET.