(TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA) Feeling the heat by others within the Verizon IndyCar Series’ standings hierarchy, points leader Scott Dixon claimed the checkered flag in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto street race.
Heading into the 85-lap challenge clinging onto a 44-point lead over Sunday’s pole sitter, Josef Newgarden, Dixon powered the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda to the lead in Lap 34 and inevitably claimed a 5.27-second victory over runner-up Simon Pagenaud.
With the triumph, his third this season, Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) pushed his points total to 464 while Newgarden’s ninth-place result advanced the defending series champ’s ledger to 402 points.
“I’m worn out, man,” said an exhausted Dixon afterwards. “That was a physical race. With those stop-gos, it was definitely easy to pick up lots of debris on the tires. Can’t thank the crew enough, we just needed some clear air and we were able to check out.”
Finishing second, Pagenaud (Team Penske) matched his highest placement this season as he challenged Dixon deep and trailed by under two seconds with five laps left.
“It was a great race,” said Pagenaud, who currently sits seventh in points.”You know, Toronto supports the Verizon Indycar Series so well. It was packed today. The track was beautiful. Tough racing out there.”
Toronto native Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) continued to charge hard in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings and finished third for the afternoon.
“It was amazing,” he said. “Thankfully I’m not an overly teary guy, but that (finishing on the podium in Canada) was really cool. I can’t thank these Toronto fans enough. I mean this whole week has been such a whirlwind of emotions and to stand on the podium soon in my first professional home race – I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Newgarden (Team Penske) led the opening 22 laps of the race but his day became problematic in prior to a re-start on Lap 33. Leading the field out of Turn 11, he lost control and brushed the wall, which sent No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet to the pits for possible suspension damage.
Remaining under full course caution, Dixon was able to capture his first lead of the afternoon. On the re-restart on Lap 34, a six-car incident in Turn 1 placed the race in full course yellow.
Dixon maintained the lead when the green flag dropped in Lap 39 and continued to display the dominance that a series’ leading team possesses.
With twenty laps remaining, Dixon’s five-second lead over the hard-charging Pagenaud did not appear safe. In fact, the DXC Technology Chevrolet sliced Dixon’s margin to 1.8 seconds with five laps remaining.
Dixon was able to stave the threat and widen the differential en route to his third triumph in Toronto and 44th career victory overall.
Last week’s winner in Iowa, James Hinchcliffe, finished fourth while Charlie Kimball claimed his highest result this season with a fifth-place finish.
The 17-event series continues with Round 13 at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on July 29.
HONDA INDY TORONTO TOP 10
PLACE DRIVER START LAPS
1) Scott Dixon 2 85
2) Simon Pagenaud 3 85
3) Robert Wickens (R) 6 85
4) James Hinchcliffe 9 85
5) Charlie Kimball 20 85
6) Tony Kanaan 15 85
7) Zach Veach (R) 22 85
8) Alexander Rossi 5 85
9) Josef Newgarden 1 85
10) Marco Andretti 14 85
VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES TOP FIVE
RANK DRIVER POINTS
1) Scott Dixon 464
2) Josef Newgarten 403
3) Alexander Rossi 394
4) Ryan Hunter-Reay 373
5) Will Power 371
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday, August 25 for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. Leading up to the event, Arch City Media will be providing weekly coverage of the series to keep local open-wheeled racing fans informed and updated.