What to watch for: Honda Indy Toronto (2pm ET, NBCSN and Live Extra)

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For the fifth time in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, Will Power will lead the field away from pole position in Toronto after winning the Verizon P1 Award in Saturday’s qualifying session.

Despite flirting with elimination in the second stage of qualifying, the Penske driver managed to rally in the final Fast Six shootout to edge out teammates Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya at the top of the timesheets, handing himself first place on the grid.

The Honda Indy Toronto has evolved into a weekend-long festival of racing in 2015 with the flagship event being the main IndyCar race, which is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 2pm ET on Sunday.

The green flag will fall at 3:08pm, and there are a number of key storylines to watch out for across the course of the race in Toronto as the brutal run of races dating back to the beginning of May finally comes to an end.


Will Power may have five pole positions to his name in 2015, but the defending IndyCar champion has not been so strong in race trim, winning just once at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May.

After failing to convert pole positions in St Petersburg, Detroit and Texas into a race win and with no podium finishes in the last three races, Power is in desperate need of a win on Sunday in Toronto if he is to stop Juan Pablo Montoya from breaking away at the top of the championship standings.


The start to the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season has been highly unpredictable, with seven drivers sharing the nine race wins thus far – only Montoya and Scott Dixon are repeat winners.

However, Toronto could yet yield an eighth winner in ten races, given that a few high-profile names are without a victory so far this year. Simon Pagenaud’s rotten luck has left him 11th in the championship, but from second at the start, the Frenchman could yet make his first visit to victory lane later today.

Helio Castroneves is also without a win in 2015, and although his task is far greater from seventh place on the grid, the Brazilian driver will still be hoping to get up the order and into the mix after showing a good pace in qualifying.


Toronto marks the first race following INDYCAR’s decision to make data regarding push-to-pass usage private to the respective teams, meaning that we will no longer know when drivers are using a boost, nor how many they have left over.

The thinking is that it will increase overtaking and stop drivers from using it as a defensive tool at the end of a race, but it will be intriguing to see just how effective it is during its first run this weekend in Toronto.


James Hinchcliffe hasn’t missed an IndyCar race in Toronto since he was 18 months old – and he wasn’t going to let a major accident at Indianapolis end his streak. After being given permission by his doctors, the Canadian will be in attendance for the race as the grand marshal, and will once again give the command for the start of the race as he did in Texas.

His place on the grid has been taken by Conor Daly in the no. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car for what is likely to be the final time this season. Ryan Briscoe is poised to fill in for Hinchcliffe at the final six races, giving Daly – complete with a helmet honoring the Mayor – one final chance to impress.

The IndyCar rookie put in a particularly impressive display in Detroit, charging through the field in the late stages, and a similar performance in Toronto today will undoubtedly leave many of the teams with plenty to ponder heading towards the end of the season.


“Here’s one for all you guys,” Graham Rahal asked his followers this morning. “What’s the record number of IndyCar events in one year that it rained?! I’m thinking 2015!”

Yes, it is raining once again, even in the absence of MST rain magnet Tony DiZinno who has been in Le Mans for the weekend. Although the weather managed to clear up before the warm up, light rain began to fall towards the end of the session, suggesting that we could be in for another chaotic event in Toronto.

The warm-up on Sunday morning saw Andretti’s Carlos Munoz lead the way, posting a fastest lap time of 1:00.2119 to finish just clear of Graham Rahal and Conor Daly.

Simon Pagenaud finished as the lead Penske in seventh, with Montoya and Power ending up 14th and 16th respectively as light rain affected running towards the end of the 30 minute session.

Be sure to join us at 2pm ET on NBCSN and Live Extra for live coverage of the Honda Indy Toronto.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor BitNile.com: “It is great for BitNile.com to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”