IndyCar

IndyCar: Fast Facts for Honda Indy Toronto

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Here’s virtually everything you need to know about this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto INDYCAR race just west of downtown Toronto:

Honda Indy Toronto Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 15

Track: Streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place, an 11-turn, 1.786-mile temporary street course

Race distance: 85 laps / 151.81 miles

Entry List: Honda Indy Toronto (PDF)

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race.

Twitter: @HondaIndy, @IndyCar, #IndyTO, #INDYCAR

Event website: www.HondaIndyToronto.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet)

2017 Verizon P1 Award winner: Simon Pagenaud (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet), 58.9124 seconds, 109.138 mph

Qualifying record: Gil de Ferran, 57.143 seconds, 110.565 mph, July 17, 1999 (Note: Simon Pagenaud set a qualifying mark of 58.9124 seconds, 109.138 mph, for the current layout in 2017.)

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 5 p.m. ET Saturday, July 14 (same-day delay); Race, 3 p.m. ET Sunday, July 15, NBCSN/Sportsnet 360 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst and Rob Howden reporting from the pits. The Verizon IndyCar Series race is broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 217, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also available on Sirius 219 and XM 209.

Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the Honda Indy Toronto will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, July 13

10:40 – 11:25 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

Saturday, July 14

9:50 – 10:35 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

1:55 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live); NBCSN (same-day delay, 5 p.m. ET)

Sunday, July 15

11:40 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

2:57 p.m. – Driver introductions

3:35 p.m. – Command to start engines

3:42 p.m. – Honda Indy Toronto (85 laps/151.81 miles), NBCSN/SportsNet 360 (Live)

Race notes:

  • There have been seven different winners in the 11 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Texas Motor Speedway), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and James Hinchcliffe (Iowa Speedway). Dixon’s win at Texas on June 9 gave him sole possession of third on the all-time Indy car victory list with 43 wins.
  • The Honda Indy Toronto will be the 34th Indy car race on the streets of Exhibition Place. Josef Newgarden won the race in 2017.
  • The Honda Indy Toronto will be the eighth race on a road/street course in 2018. The first seven races were won by Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2)
  • Will Power has won three times at Toronto, the most wins by an active Indy car driver at the track. Power, who won in 2007, 2010 and 2016), is among five past Toronto winners entered in this year’s race, along with Sebastien Bourdais (2004, 2014 Race 1), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Scott Dixon (2013 Races 1 and 2) and Josef Newgarden (2015 and 2017). Michael Andretti has the most wins at the track with seven.
  • The Verizon IndyCar Series champion has won in Toronto in five of the last nine seasons. Dario Franchitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden all won on the streets of Toronto before eventually claiming the championship. Franchitti won in 2009 and again in 2011. Hunter-Reay won in 2012, Dixon swept both races in 2013 and Newgarden won in 2017. Seven other drivers have claimed the Indy car championship in the same season they won at Toronto. They are Bobby Rahal (1986), Al Unser Jr. (1990), Michael Andretti (1991), Alex Zanardi (1998), Cristiano da Matta (2002), Paul Tracy (2003) and Sebastien Bourdais (2004).
  • Drivers who have won poles at Toronto entered in this year’s race are Sebastien Bourdais (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2014 Race 1), Scott Dixon (2013 Race 2 and 2016), Will Power (2011 and 2015) and Simon Pagenaud (2017). The pole sitter has won the race seven times since the first race in 1986, most recently by Bourdais in 2014 Race 1.
  • Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in three of the last nine races at Toronto. He has seven top-five finishes in 13 starts. … Sebastien Bourdais has eight top-five finishes in 13 Toronto starts. … Will Power has finished on the podium in five of his 13 Toronto starts. … Toronto-area native James Hinchcliffe has finished on the podium in the last two races at the track.
  • Seventeen drivers entered in the event have competed in Indy car races at Toronto. Tony Kanaan (15) has the most starts among the entered drivers. Eleven of those drivers have led laps at the track (Sebastien Bourdais 189, Will Power 161, Scott Dixon 151, Josef Newgarden 95, Ryan Hunter-Reay 36, Simon Pagenaud 33, Tony Kanaan 23, Graham Rahal 23, Charlie Kimball 2, Max Chilton 1 and Conor Daly 1).
  • Chip Ganassi Racing has won six times at Toronto: Michael Andretti (1994), Alex Zanardi (1998), Dario Franchitti (2009 and 2011) and Scott Dixon (2013, both races). Team Penske has four wins at the track (Paul Tracy 1993, Will Power 2010 and 2016 and Josef Newgarden 2017). Team Penske has eight pole positions at the track: Danny Sullivan (1988 and 1990), Emerson Fittipaldi (1993), Helio Castroneves (2000), Gil de Ferran (2001), Will Power (2011 and 2015) and Simon Pagenaud (2017).
  • Six rookies – including Canadian drivers Zachary Claman De Melo (Montreal) and Robert Wickens (Guelph, Ontario) – are entered. Other rookies entered are Rene Binder, Matheus Leist, Jordan King and Zach Veach.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 295th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 235 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 211 consecutive starts, which is tied with Jimmy Vasser for the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.

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Steinbrenner brings winning tradition to IndyCar Victory Lane

INDYCAR Photo by Chris Jones
INDYCAR Photo by Chris Jones
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AUSTIN, Texas – Opening Day for the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball is Thursday against the hapless Baltimore Orioles. But the Steinbrenner family can already celebrate a big-time, major league victory in 2019.

George Michael Steinbrenner, IV is the 22-year-old son of Yankees co-owner and co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner. He is the grandson of the legendary Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, whose fiery tenure at the helm of the Yankees restored the team to the prestige and pride it continues to enjoy as the most successful professional sports franchise in the world.

Steinbrenner, IV, is co-owner of Harding Steinbrenner Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series and the youngest team owner in IndyCar history.

When his grandfather was ruling the Yankees, excellence wasn’t expected; it was demanded. Those are traits that define the Steinbrenner family.

On Sunday at Circuit of the Americas, young Steinbrenner became an IndyCar winner in just his third race in the series in the INDYCAR Classic. It was also historic as his driver, Colton Herta, became the youngest driver in history to win an IndyCar race at race at 18 years, 11 months and 25 days. Graham Rahal was 19 years 3 months and 2 days when he won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2008.

“Break up the Yankees” was a popular battle cry around baseball in the glory days of the boys in pinstripes, from Joe DiMaggio to Mickey Mantle to Reggie Jackson to Derek Jeter and A-Rod.

What makes the latest Steinbrenner winner so stunning, is how quickly it happened.

“We didn’t think this was possible so soon,” Steinbrenner told NBC Sports.com from the team’s pit stand seconds after the checkered flag waved for Herta’s victory. “What a drive by Colton and what a job by the crew. They did everything they could to keep us ahead of the 2 car (Josef Newgarden) all day. Wow, I can’t believe it.”

Steinbrenner has the Yankees in his blood and DNA, but his passion has always been IndyCar racing. He was just 16 when he met then 12-year-old Herta at a Skip Barber race at Lime Rock, Connecticut. The two became friends and joined together to begin their climb to IndyCar.

“I interned at Bryan Herta Rallysport for the 2016 season, learning the top to bottom of how a race team operates during the week and during the weekend,” Steinbrenner recalled. “When Colton and I decided that we’d start this crazy journey together in Indy Lights, being able to partner with Andretti Autosport in Indy Lights was huge. They’re a buttoned-down organization, do everything right. To be able to learn from the folks there was a huge jump-start, the perfect jump-start I could have hoped for, for INDYCAR ownership.”

For two years, they joined forces with team owner Michael Andretti in Indy Lights. Andretti helped broker a deal for Steinbrenner and Herta to step up to IndyCar by joining a team owned by Indianapolis paving company owner Mike Harding.

Harding Steinbrenner Racing was announced last summer with tremendous fanfare at Yankee Stadium before a New York Yankees game.

Andretti is still part of the operation as Andretti Technologies supplies engineering and crew support to Harding Steinbrenner Racing.

“None of this would have been possible without Michael Andretti,” Herta said. “I’d like to say thank you to Michael and his team. He elevated us to the top really quick and without them we wouldn’t be here.”

When Steinbrenner announced his goal of taking Herta to the IndyCar, it was a long-term commitment. Herta’s first victory at an 18-year-old could be the start of something great, beginning another winning tradition for the Steinbrenners.

“We’ve had a pretty good start here,” Steinbrenner said. “This is huge, to get this win off our belts. We showed the IndyCar world what we could do.”

Herta qualified fourth and raced his way to third in a race that Will Power dominated. The Team Penske driver led the first 45 laps from the pole while he was pursued by Alexander Rossi.

The two front-runners planned on being the last two drivers in the 24-car field to make their final pit stop.

That plan was foiled, however, when James Hinchcliffe’s Honda ran into the back of Felix Rosenqvist’s Honda, sending it into the barrier in Turn 20. That was the only caution in the 60-lap race. Power and Rossi would go from the top two to 14thand 15thafter making their pit stops.

Power’s race ended on pit lane when a broken half-shaft kept his car from engaging in gear and he went from first to worst in the 24-car field.

That put Herta in the lead under caution. Right behind him was the intimidating sight of the No. 2 Chevrolet driven by Team Penske’s 28-year-old Josef Newgarden, the 2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion and the winner of the 2019 season-opener at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“We knew we got on the right side of the pit strategy and had the pace to stay ahead of two extremely fast guys behind us,” Steinbrenner said. “It was a matter of Colton staying out in front and nursing it home.”

When the green flag waved to restart the race with 10 laps left, the 18-year-old was calm and cool as he was able to get a great restart and pull away from Newgarden.

Back in the pit area, Steinbrenner stood on the timing stand in the pits alongside co-owner Mike Harding and team president and race strategist Brian Barnhart. Because COTA is a 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course, it takes a while to complete a lap. Herta had the fastest lap in the race on Lap 54 and it was 108.9853 seconds.

The long course added to the tension as the 60-lap race neared its conclusion.

Steinbrenner, who bears a resemblance to 1980s actor Fisher Stevens, remained cool on the timing stand.

When Herta’s Honda came out of Turn 20 on the final lap to the checkered flag, Steinbrenner could finally celebrate, pumping his fist in the air.

“I was very concerned,” Steinbrenner admitted. “Most of the guys in the paddock, you are concerned with in a situation like that, especially a former champion. It was nerve-racking.

“Wow. It’s a dream come true.”

Steinbrenner got his first win in IndyCar before the New York Yankees.

“Not too far apart, but a couple of days in front,” Steinbrenner laughed.

For a Steinbrenner, there are always more goals to achieve. Sunday’s first victory is like a “regular season” win to the Yankees. That team’s goal is to win the World Series.

Steinbrenner, IV’s goal is to win the biggest race in the world – the 103rdIndianapolis 500 on May 26.

“I think there’s a pretty big race in May,” Steinbrenner said. “I think for us, that’s the next big goal.

“I grew up with two passions: baseball and racing. I thought my family had one pretty well covered. We’ll go and chase another one.”

When a Steinbrenner sets a goal, don’t bet against it.