TORONTO — Scott Dixon rebounded from a subpar finish at Iowa Speedway with a strong opening practice session Friday on the streets of Toronto, where Honda drivers dominated the session.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who has two victories here (most recently in 2016), turned a 105.842-mph lap on the 1.786-mile course in his Dallara Honda, outpacing Graham Rahal (105.510), Alexander Rossi (105.440), Takuma Sato (105.395), Marco Andretti (105.318) and Sebastien Bourdais (105.178).
Team Penske’s Will Power was the top Chevrolet in seventh at 105.128 mph.
Dixon, the series’ points leader with two victories, finished four laps down in a season-worst 12th at Iowa but maintained a 33-point lead over defending series champion Josef Newgarden (who finished fourth).
Newgarden’s Penske Chevy was 13th fastest in the opening practice as Hondas claimed eight of the top 10 spots. Teammate Simon Pagenaud, the defending winner of the race, was 12th fastest.
Click here for results of the first of two practices Friday for the Honda Indy Toronto.
The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.
“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.
“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”
Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.
He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.
The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.
“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.
“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”
Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.
A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.