What to watch for: IndyCar at Toronto, Race 1 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN & Live Extra)

Leave a comment

EVERYTHING COMES IN (TURN) 3

Toronto’s right-hand Turn 3 can be very rewarding or very disastrous. Situated at the end of the long Lakeshore Boulevard back-stretch, it’s a big opportunity to peel off positions. But the amount of room in the corner is usually less than what drivers think they’ve got – and that can lead to multiple cars making contact and then skidding into the tires or the concrete barriers. Just ask Ryan Briscoe, who sent Tony Kanaan into the T3 wall in 2011 – “I think if there’s any track where you just have to give a little extra room, it’s there in Toronto,” he recently told the Toronto Star.

GANASSI AND THE GOOSE-EGG

A Chip Ganassi Racing car hasn’t been in Victory Lane since Scott Dixon won last October’s Race 1 at Houston. That’s a span of 14 races, and for a team as decorated as CGR, that’s pretty strange. But a breakthrough appears soon to come for the Verizon IndyCar Series champions, who have been led recently by Kanaan. The Brazilian led the most laps at both Pocono and Iowa only to lose out both times, and that’s surely made him even more motivated to get his first trophy as a member of the team.

“HUNTING” FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP

Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Will Power are 1-2 in the championship standings with just nine points between them, but Ryan Hunter-Reay is now squarely in the picture after his big win last Saturday at Iowa Speedway. As far as Toronto goes, RHR (-32 behind Castroneves) has claimed three podiums in his last five starts there, and it was part of a three-race win streak during his first title-winning season in 2012. His goal today is to stay out of trouble and put more pressure on the Penske duo.

HOME COOKIN’ FOR HINCHCLIFFE?

Oakville, Ontario’s James Hinchcliffe is always the star of the show whenever IndyCar visits Toronto, but with just one Top-10 finish in four IndyCar starts there, luck has not been on his side. As you’d figure from Hinch, he jokes about his Toronto trials and tribulations but make no mistake – he desperately wants to make his home fans happy. Will things finally change for the better this weekend?

Here’s what drivers said after Sunday’s INDYCAR race was postponed until Monday

IndyCar
Leave a comment

Here’s what several drenched drivers had to say after Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was postponed until Monday morning (11:30 a.m. ET, LIVE on NBCSN):

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama winner, 2018 pole winner): “It’s tough because we have so many people that come out here to watch us. We want to put on a good race. We want to put on a show. So calling the race, running around behind the pace car not running, it’s tough, it’s tough to do that. But I think it was the right thing in the end. When we started the race, the conditions were OK. You could run at that level of rain. Then, it intensified right before that first caution. I think when the caution came out, it got to a point where it was just too much. There was too much puddling and pooling of water on every straightaway. Then the rivers started flowing, high-speed compressions in Turns 1 and 2, fast corner, 12 and 13, fast corner where the river starts to form. Just tough. I mean, look, we love racing in the rain. It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to run in the rain, not being able to do that. It’s that this type of track with this water level was too much to race today. We’ve run here in the rain before, but it intensified to the point where you’re starting to get in a situation where it’s going to take it out of the drivers’ hands. What happened with Will (Power), I don’t think is a driver error. I don’t know how anyone is going to drive hydroplaning on the front straightaway. I think you would have had that for the rest of the track, too. A tough situation. Thanks for the fans that came out and supported us. Hopefully we’ll get some people back tomorrow and we’ll get the show in and put on a great event.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet):
“Tough day so far. We had some problems with our radio and fuel alarm, but otherwise the car was alright. It was just too dangerous out there, we couldn’t see anything, so I think they made the right call. Hopefully we’ll have a good race tomorrow.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s just a real shame for everyone on the Verizon Chevy team. The car was good and we were doing our best out there, but it was really hard to see anything in front of me. The conditions were just so bad. As soon as I got to the frontstraight, the car just came around, and I tried to keep it off the wall, but it was hydroplaning and there was nothing I could do. I feel bad for the team and for the fans in this weather. Just too bad. Hopefully our luck can turn around when we get to Indianapolis.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Very difficult day for us. In the race we were 13th at the time and we had some electrical issues, so that caused us to pit and we lost a lap. Not the ideal situation, but we don’t give up. There’s still a race tomorrow and we’re going to go for the most points. Anything can happen.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): “It was a tough beginning, but when we kind of got going it was OK and kind of fun to challenge for a while, but visibility was a major issue today, no doubt. I’m glad that the series postponed it. I would have like to get it in today, but that’s life. We will go racing tomorrow.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 Kerauno / MilitaryToMotorsports.com Honda, Verizon IndyCar Series points leader): “I think definitely the right decision was made to red flag the race. It’s a very difficult position for everyone to be in. It’s never the result that you want, but safety is obviously a priority. I think everyone did a good job considering the conditions of looking out for each other. Not being able to see is not doing anybody any good. It is hard for everyone, but glad that we’re all in one piece and try again later.

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “As you could see on TV, if you couldn’t see the car, it was probably three times worse in the cockpit on the main straight or any straight. You had to completely trust the guys that they were accelerating. Never the less, I made good progress on the short stint and I made up a few positions.  The car was working well, but also was aquaplaning a lot, too, so I have to respect INDYCAR’s decision for everyone’s safety. Now we really need to concentrate on having a good car for tomorrow. I’m sorry for the fans that sat in rain all day, but thank them for their support.”

RENE BINDER (No. 32 Binderholz tiptop timber Chevrolet): “It was a short day. In the beginning the conditions were not that good, but afterwards the conditions started to improve. The race was stopped, then restarted, and I think the conditions were not too bad at that point. Unfortunately, it was red flagged again and then cancelled for the day. It would have been nice to get halfway, but we will come back and try again tomorrow.”