It was like yesterday was on replay as Scott Dixon would dominate to win the Honda Indy Toronto Race 2. It marks his third straight win after winning last weekend at Pocono and yesterday’s Toronto race. Last year, Ryan Hunter-Reay won three in a row on the way to winning the championship.
Dixon took the lead early, held it through the pit stop cycles and on the final restart to take home the victory. With sweeping the weekend, Dixon scores a $100,000 bonus for the sweep courtesy of SONAX.
“Once again, I want to thank everyone for coming out today,” Dixon, who led 81 of the 85 laps, said in victory lane. “Toronto fans are something special. A little hotter today. The race was a little faster pace today, so we were definitely trying to hang on there.”
Dixon earned his 32nd career IndyCar victory, gaining sole possession of eventh place on the all-time list. He also becomes the winningest active driver with his victory today.
The race went green all the way till lap 64 when James Jakes made contact in turn five with the wall after clipping the curb.
On the restart, Dixon was able to hold on to the lead, spreading it to 6.2879 seconds before a caution came out on lap 81 with four laps to go. Ed Carpenter brought the caution out after hitting the wall at the exit of turn five.
On the restart with 2 laps to go, Ryan Hunter-Reay would try to make it three-wide going into turn one, resulting in contact with Will Power after the corner. Hunter-Reay would catch the outside wall hard, collecting Takuma Sato, while Power would go off in one of the run-off areas. As a result, the race ended under caution.
“Will was coming out from the bottom. I had a good run going on the outside, I was right next to him and he just – he was sliding across the patch,” Hunter-Reay said afterwards. “I talked to him, and he just said he got loose on the bottom and he just drove right up into us. There’s two lanes going through, everybody kind of respects that and….I don’t think he drove us on purpose, but we were taken out of the race.”
“It was a disappointing end for the Verizon team,” Power said. “We worked so hard all day and had a good run throughout most of the race. Then for it to come to an end like it did on the last restart is such a heartbreak. We will just work ahead and work for a better result at Mid-Ohio.”
Helio Catroneves would finish second to hold on to the points lead as he scores his 12th top 10 in 13 races this season.
“The car was better today,” Castroneves said. “They were in a different league, Scott and Ganassi guys. I was pushing. Whatever he is taking for breakfast, I want it. Scott, tell me what you’re having for breakfast. Let’s be realistic: The guy was leading the whole race, 13 seconds ahead.
Sebastian Bourdais would finish third despite his push-to-pass button malfunctioning for his second consecutive podium finish after finishing second yesterday.
“It was really hard, and it was from seventh place,” he said. “I thought I was a sitting duck. Things just turned our way. I had a really good car on the restart. I was hooked up. I knew as soon as Ryan (Hunter-Reay) passed me, I had to get him back. I went for it, and it worked out.”
After suffering front wing damage to contact on the opening lap with Will Power, Dario Franchitti would come back to finish fourth. EJ Viso would round out the top five.
Charlie Kimball finished sixth, followed by Mike Conway, Justin Wilson, Marco Andretti and Alex Tagliani. The 10th place finish for Tagliani marks his first top 10 of 2013.
Hometown hero James Hinchcliffe wouldn’t take the initial green flag after the throttle sticking on pit road. Hinchcliffe’s crew would get the problem fixed, sending him out on track three laps down. The mayor of Hinchtown would finish 21st as a result.
“The throttle stuck (on the start) – it’s pretty simple,” Hinchcliffe said. “I was just going through the routine of the standing start, and as soon as I put my thumb on the throttle, it stuck 100 percent, and that was about a minute before they gave the command (to start engines).
“It sucks for everyone that came out today. I was hoping for better in my hometown. But we weren’t going to give up – I wanted to go out, finish the race and get any point we could.”