S2E24 - Race Report: Toronto
Toronto Race 23:14
The best news for us involved Conor Daly getting an opportunity to drive for Harding Racing in the Toronto race. Harding is taking a unique approach to figuring out who is going to be driving their second car in 2019. Gabby Chaves is safely under contract, and with the team well out of the championship hunt – they’re holding open auditions for that spot. It’s interesting, to say the least, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that Conor ends up with the spot. Harding Group is very successful here in Indianapolis, and they’re easily funding one car, and the second car may need a driver with some budget, but not a full budget. This is the perfect spot for Conor, he’s a good driver, very marketable, but just can’t pull in the funds for the full-time full spot – we hope they choose Conor!
The silly season, in every aspect, is ramping up already. Dragonspeed racing is in talks to join IndyCar. Braun, a sports car driver, is looking to join IndyCar as a driver. Yesterday (we taped on Sunday immediately after the race), Leguna Seca made an announcement about a race. So silly season on every level – also we’re waiting on what Detroit decides.
We’ve reached over 1,000 followers on Twitter so Sunday we’re going to be doing a FB Live where we answer and all questions, so please send them in via any social media – or the Contact Us button here!
Toronto race 23:14
The biggest take away from qualifications was that the Honda cars rolled out ready to go (as shown by their domination of the top 5 fastest spots in the first two days of practice) and Friday evening Chevy teams must have spent some long hours because for Saturday’s practice it was a better mix of Chevy and Honda in the Top 5 fastest.
Qualification got off to a wonky start with some rain in the area. Group 1 had to qualify on wet tires, and Group 2 got to run on Dry. Not a lot of huge surprises. Jordan King and Conor both made it into Round 2, so that was exciting. The Fast Six was the usual suspects, except the SPM team did not make it in.
As a side note, on Sunday’s warm-up, Jordan King popped his car straight into the wall (missing the tire barrier), and we all know Ed Carpenter sat on the pit box rethinking his life decision.
The race was exciting, within the first lap we had pass on pass on pass. Were they five wide or six wide? It felt like Tetris where the cars are slotting in and out of spots. Holy Cow! We couldn’t catch our breath!
Marco Andretti: Marco marco marco – there has been a lot of growth this season with his driving. He did okay starting the weekend, and really did great at the race. Within Lap 5 he had moved up 5 spots…he was fourth place chasing down Robert Wickens with two laps to go – annnd then he had to dive in for a splash of fuel because numbers were wrong. He ended the race in 10th after starting 14th.
There was a weird contact between Will Power and Alexander Rossi that happened near the time something happened to Ryan Hunter-Reah’s car, and they were late in opening the pits so Rossi was driving around with his front nose cone dragging on the ground in front of his car. That being said, once the three got into the open pits – the Napa crew had that changed ASAFP. Will’s team…not so much that broken tow link was harder to fix.
Shortly after that yellow cleared, in fact within one Turn, there was another yellow. It appears something happened to Josef Newgarden’s car which caused him to suddenly slow, and behind him Max Chilton also slowed anticipating a yellow – then everyone got into the back of one another at Turn 1. It was Chilton, Graham Rahal, Power, RHR, and we saw the back end of Rossi’s car get airborne over RHR’s car (it’s not the flight but the landing that’s really gonna hurt!).
Finally, and despite what you say Molly swears it’s because she picked him as her drop, Simon Pagenaud brought some French spirit to that race! He and Robert Wickens tangled, and tangled good! Pagenaud is an incredible driver and it was great to see him really get in a mix with someone.
Of course, congratulations go out to Scott Dixon. He is an amazing driver and as much as he doesn’t like a label, we’re lucky to be in the era where we can watch such an amazing driver.
We’re back next Wednesday preparing for MidOhio, and as a “no race treat” we’ll be dropping an episode on Friday with our interview with ChampWebDotNet. Oh and don’t forget the FB live on Sunday, we’ll put it out on Social media exactly when we’re going to be doing that.