Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Simon Pagenaud fastest driver after second Honda Indy Toronto practice

Simon Pagenaud fastest driver after second Honda Indy Toronto practice Simon Pagenaud fastest driver after second Honda Indy Toronto practice
Ben Pena | 17 July, 2017, 13:59

Newgarden raced to his second Toronto victory in three years Sunday, dominating on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place.

So every position and every point matters in the Honda Indy Toronto. The Ed Carpenter Racing driver will start 12th in Sunday's race.

The Californian scored his first podium finish since his surprise victory as a rookie in the 2016 Indianapolis 500, and teammates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay finished fourth and sixth, respectively. The Oakville, Ont., native was seventh in the morning run and finished third at last year's race.

Marco Andretti finished fourth with pole victor Simon Pagenaud fifth. He should be able to find the lead pack today and push for a win. He said the only "problem" was that this win came at a track where he has previously won.

"We were catching Alexander (Rossi) and Josef (Newgarden) in that last stint", Hinchcliffe said.

Newgarden now has two wins at this venue and two at Barber, a permanent road course east of Birmingham, Ala.

The changes weren't dramatic, but besides accomodating the hotel, as well as the relocation of hospitality suites and grandstands, the hope was that they would offer a more entertaining experience for fans attending the race. "It really is awesome coming here, and hopefully we can carry this momentum on to Mid-Ohio and get a win".

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"Honestly, I think on used tires, it's probably the best lap I've ever put together to put us P2", Rahal said.

"Thank you to the guys and thank you to Tim [Cindric] for making that call". "It's hard for us to guess what the conditions are going to be, but yes, if there are variables at play in terms of weather, the race set up for these competitors will be different". "If it starts raining when I'm on the wrong end of the track then that wouldn't be very good". He is now a disappointing 16th in points and has had several incidents this season resulting in crashed race cars, mostly recently last week at Iowa while running in the top 5. Graham Rahal appeared to slow up to avoid Pagenaud, when cars began stacking up.

Power was unable to complete the first lap after he and series leader Scott Dixon made contact early.

Power's vehicle got the worst of it, breaking a right-front suspension piece. Power's day ended with a last-place finish; Dixon finished 10th, losing five points off his series points lead.

Helio Castroneves trails Dixon by three points after finishing eighth, Simon Pagenaud is 19 points behind Dixon after finishing fifth and Newgarden is 23 points behind.

Newgarden came out in front on Lap 25 after a crash by Tony Kanaan caused a caution and maintained an advantage of more than two seconds for most of the rest of the race.

While Castroneves and Pagenaud are closer to Dixon, Power may very well be the biggest threat. The Mexican driver was initially diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms, but he was cleared after resting overnight.

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