Johnstone pleased to have dealt with date shift challenge for Honda Indy Toronto weekend


President of Honda Indy Toronto Charlie Johnstone has taken the logistical and scheduling challenge of the 2015 event in his stride, believing that the revamped format of the race weekend will only help to draw in new fans for the IndyCar Series.

After functioning as a double-header round in both 2013 and 2014, this year’s Honda Indy Toronto has been reduced to just a single race and has been moved from its regular July slot to the middle of June due to the Pan Am Games.

This has produced a number of competitive and logistical challenges for the event organizers, but Johnstone has taken all of this in his stride and instead worked to create a bumper program of racing for the Toronto weekend.

“We’re not without our challenges this year from an operations standpoint,” Johnstone said. “But we’ve known these things were happening for a long time and have planned for them.

“I always chuckle when people ask, ‘What is it you do the rest of the year?’ Well, we plan for these weeks and days leading into it. Here we are race week and we’re ready to go.”

The Verizon IndyCar Series is supported by Indy Lights as per usual in Toronto, but has also been joined by six other championships including the Stadium Super Trucks series and the Canadian Touring Car Series.

“I think that’s the excitement of the weekend,” Johnstone said. “It’s not just about one series. It’s the Super Trucks, it’s Porsche, it’s the Canadian Touring Car Series, it’s the whole Road to Indy that we’ve got.

“Of course, it starts on Friday with Fan Friday so we open up our gates tomorrow for free, and we just ask for a donation to Make‑a‑Wish Foundation. From there, the Honda Dealers Association and Honda match that, so we raise a lot of money for a really great cause.

“It’s really about the whole festival atmosphere. It’s getting people down to the site that maybe haven’t been here before to really see and hear the sounds of Indy cars and see the drivers and get up close. That’s what creates that energy and excitement.”

Johnstone is confident that the festival atmosphere and extensive track action will do a great amount to win over new fans and encourage them to visit an IndyCar race in the future.

“The more we can do that to get people down on‑site, I think that continues for the next race,” Johnstone said.

“It helps the broadcast, people get engaged, they see it, they feel it, they smell it, and they come back next year, so that’s what we’ll continue to build on.”

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points