Race Report: Honda Indy Toronto
TORONTO —Carlos Munoz didn’t have much to say after the Honda Indy Toronto today as the frustration of the season was written all over his face.
“Not the race we wanted really,” said the driver of the ABC Supply Chevrolet. “We were lucky on the first yellow but after that, nothing came our way with the other yellows. There’s nothing to do but just keep working hard.”
The 85 lap race was slowed by a first lap crash involving Will Power and Scott Dixon which saw Power retire and Dixon repair his car during the full course caution.
Going for an alternate fuel strategy because they were starting deep in the field and passing is difficult around the tight 1.7 mile street course, Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz pitted early in their fuel windows. They pitted on lap 16 and 18 respectively which worked out well because a full course caution came on lap 24 for Tony Kanaan’s slide into the tire barrier.
The leaders pitted under yellow which allowed Munoz and Daly to jump ahead. When the race restarted, Munoz was in sixth and Daly in 10th. They each lost a position on track before coming in to pit for fuel and tires just before the halfway mark of the race and slipped back to 15th and 18th. The final stops on laps 58 and 59 went off without a hitch, in fact all of the stops were error-free, but neither driver was able to make passes on track.
Munoz finished 15th and Daly 17th (Daly gained a spot when Ed Jones lost an engine).
“The car was pretty good but we have to look at everything because I have no idea why the car was so slow down the straight,” Daly said afterwards. “It might not be a power thing, it might just be we had too much downforce because the car was good by myself but we were just a sitting duck down the straights. It was difficult to defend and attack. I was on the limiter halfway down the straight. I think the car was better than where we finished.”
“It was another tough weekend and unfortunately we weren’t able to capitalize on some of the gains we made throughout,” Team President Larry Foyt said. “On a positive note, we kept improving the cars throughout the weekend but we’re just starting too far off from where we need to be. We’ll take what we learned here and keep applying it and look to find some speed late in the season.”
Josef Newgarden won the race after starting seventh in his Team Penske Chevrolet. He was followed across the line by Alexander Rossi, local fan favorite James Hinchcliffe who hails from Toronto, Marco Andretti and pole winner Simon Pagenaud.