Interview

Bumpy Shake-up in Championship Standings

The combination of the bumpy streets in Toronto and strategy throughout the race resulted in a shake-up to the Verizon IndyCar Series standings.

With three wins and eight top 10s in the season, Simon Pagenaud continues to lead the standings following an ninth-place finish. Despite battling the competition, including his teammates, he says the key is focusing on yourself.

“I try to concentrate on myself as we have so much to deal with already,” he told POPULAR OPEN WHEEL. “The goal for the team and me is to extract the most out of ourselves, and so far it has put us in the lead. I’m trying to focus on just doing that, and not battling with my teammates or anybody else. I have the best car, best team, and I’m supposed to be the best team, so if I put that together, I should be in the lead.”

He added the success is motivating and uplifting, pushing him to continue to do well.

While he’s led the way since the beginning, the competition is closing. Will Power moved up to second in points, 47 marker behind Pagenaud despite missing the season-opener with an inner-ear infection. Power has been on a roll lately with four consecutive top-two finishes leaving Toronto.

“It’s definitely going well right now,” Power told POPULAR OPEN WHEEL. “Obviously, we have to track down a pretty good lead so if we got to continue to finish ahead of the 22 [Pagenaud] and get strong results if we want a shot at the end.”

Castroneves moved up from fifth to third with a runner-up finish, 74 points behind Pagenaud. Meanwhile, Scott Dixon remains fourth following an eighth-place finish. Dixon dominated the early stage of the Honda Indy Toronto, however, got caught out having not pitted before the Lap 51 caution, resulting in a loss of track position once he pitted.

“Obviously not the result that we wanted today for Team Target after starting on pole and leading all those laps in the first few stints,” he said. “It was looking like it was going to be our race all afternoon but the timing of how everything worked out just took it away from us. It was just about as frustrating of a race as you can have.”

Josef Newgarden took the biggest hit, falling from second to fifth as a result of his crash at Lap 58.

With five races remaining, including double points on the line at the season finale at Sonoma Raceway, the championship is far from being decided.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularopenwheel.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularOpenWheel.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement. 

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