WATCH LIVE: Honda Indy Toronto on NBCSN and Live Extra from 2pm ET

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The Verizon IndyCar Series heads north of the border this weekend for the Honda Indy Toronto, marking the end of a gruelling run of back-to-back weekends that has stretched all the way from the beginning of May.

In qualifying on Saturday, defending champion Will Power stormed to his fifth Verizon P1 Award of the 2015 season, securing himself pole position for the race start on Sunday.

However, with Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud starting second and title rival Juan Pablo Montoya lurking just behind in third place, Power will face a tough challenge to clinch his second win of the season in Toronto.

You can watch the Honda Indy Toronto live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 2pm ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

With rain falling in Toronto in the lead-up to the race start, we look poised for another chaotic event on Sunday following a string on wet-weather sessions at the start of the 2015 season.

Power currently trails Montoya by over 30 points at the top of the IndyCar drivers’ championship, and is without a podium finish in his last three races. However, the Australian now has a perfect opportunity to strike back in Toronto starting from pole.

With seven different winners in the opening nine races, there is every chance that we could see an eighth today given that Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves (pictured) and Tony Kanaan are all yet to pay a visit to victory lane.

As the championship begins to enter the home stretch, the ever-unpredictable Honda Indy Toronto is sure to be a thrilling and exciting event, with the green flag set to be shown at 3:08pm ET.

You can watch the Honda Indy Toronto live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 2pm ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Robert Wickens in the Indy 500? Bryan Herta making plans to field a car for next year

Robert Wickens Indy 500
Brett Farmer/LAT Images/IMSA
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indy 500 as early as 2024 – a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver.

Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie season. He’s worked as a driver coach for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team since, but last year with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai returned to racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The 33-year-old Canadian won a pair of races (including the season opener at Daytona) driving a Hyundai Elantra N-TCR that is fitted for Wickens to race strictly through hand controls. Herta said Thursday that perfecting that technology for an Indy car in the biggest race in the world has slowed the project he’s determined to do with Wickens.

‘I’M AS HUNGRY AS EVER’: Robert Wickens’ return to racing

“I’d love to take Robbie back to Indy because I know he could do that, and I think that would be a next step for him in his journey,” Herta told The Associated Press. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the logistical side of things, hand controls, and I think we have solutions for that.”

Herta said Honda has been supportive of the process, which Herta called “one of the most important things we’ve done in racing” last year.

“We actually looked at doing it this year, but the logistics of it, the timing, it just wasn’t enough,” Herta said. “That’s not something you can rush. There’s some things that we have to work very closely with IndyCar on, and things we just have to get right. It’s a process, but I can see a path to it.”

Wickens, when told his boss was openly discussing the Indy 500, grinned widely. Herta as a team owner won the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi.

“That’d be fun,” he said of running the Indy 500.

But like Herta, Wickens said the effort has to be both done correctly and be competitive.

“We’d like to do it right. If we started right now, can we get a car ready for the open test in April? Probably,” Wickens told The AP. “But I don’t know where the systems would be and I want to get on proper simulators to make sure its correct.

“We all want to do a proper, professional effort,” he added. “I don’t want to do it for a marketing campaign. I want to do it for a chance to win.”

Wickens later tweeted about the possibility of racing the Indy 500 and said his goal was “always to get back to the top level of motorsport” whether it’s IndyCar or IMSA.

Wickens in 2021 did a demonstration in Canada that marketed advancements for paralyzed drivers and gave him a chance to again drive. His entire life had been upended 14 races into his rookie IndyCar season, just three months after winning top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500.

Wickens has since married, returned to racing last year and welcomed the birth of his first child, an son named Wesley whom is infatuated with both race cars and the trip to Disney he took this week during the off days at Daytona International Speedway.

Wickens, who uses a wheelchair but can stand with some support, marks a full year back racing on Friday in the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Despite success last season, Herta made changes to his lineups and Wickens this year will be teamed with Harry Gottsacker.