In perhaps the best IndyCar race ever run on the wet-to-dry streets of Toronto, American Josef Newgarden held off his CFH Racing teammate Luca Filippi from Italy by 1.44 seconds for his 2nd IndyCar victory.
More importantly they beat Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power who finished 3rd and 4th.
Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top-5.
The race started in the wet but it stopped and before long a dry line began to develop. And although the track did dry enough for most of the race to be run on dry slick tires, there were periods of minor sprinkles that challenged the drivers from start to finish.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]The changing conditions made for some great racing with passing up and down the field as drivers fought to control the 800 HP IndyCar beasts as they had to go off-line onto the wet to make passes as their cars fishtailed left and right on the limit of adhesion.
It kept the crowd on its feet the entire event.
The first 1/3 of the race was a great battle between Penske teammates Will Power and Simon Pagenaud. Power led easily on full wets but when the track began to dry Pagenaud closed in.
|Power gets dry tires|
After the first round of pitstops to switch from rain tires to slicks, Pagenaud was right under the rear wing of Power and he tried many outbraking attempts at the end of the long backstraight, but each time Power placed his car on the inside for the braking zone and Pagenaud was never able to complete the pass.
All the while, Sebastien Bourdais was closing on the Penske duo.
But the move of the race was Josef Newgarden pitting just before the first full course caution on lap 29 when James Jakes ran into the tire barrier. That move put Newgarden right behind race leader Helio Castroneves (who did not pit) after all the cars cycled through their pitstops.
Once Castroneves eventually pitted Newgarden was out front, a position he held pretty much the rest of the way as his CFH Racing team hit it just right on chassis setup for the treacherous conditions.
There were seven lead changes among six drivers
"It was close racing, for sure, and I got a little lucky on that yellow," said Newgarden, who joined Ryan Hunter-Reay, A.J. Allmendinger, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Rahal and seven-time winner Michael Andretti as American winners in Toronto. "It was a great call, though, and it was an amazing effort by this team and the crew who gave me amazing pit stops."
Filippi, driving the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet, recorded his best finish in 16 Verizon IndyCar Series races dating to 2013.
"We had a goal to be on the podium and we both achieved it with both cars. It's nice when you set the goal and you achieve it and the team did everything perfectly to give us the opportunity to be up front," said Filippi, who qualified sixth. "But we had a fast car and we knew we needed to be kind of in the clean air up in front and this is what we did — just kept pushing.
"I thank the Fuzzy's Vodka team because they believe in me and they gave me the opportunity to race INDYCAR properly and my first podium. Many more to come."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, RACE WINNER: HOW BAD DID YOUR TEAM NEED THIS AFTER PROBLEMS AND ISSUES THE LAST MONTH? “Just an amazing team effort. I can’t believe we did a 1-2 there. I got a little close there with Luca (Filippi) but we were just trying to keep up and after we got into the final stint I got into a little bit of lapped traffic and I couldn’t do anything with lap traffic. They really wanted me to because of everyone that was coming. It was close racing but for sure too, I got a little lucky and you have to look at that. I got lucky on that yellow. It was a great call though and you can’t discount it that it was a great call by the team. It was an amazing effort by this team and the crew who gave me amazing pit stops. We were disappointed by qualifying because we knew we had a fast car. I am so happy to get a win, but a 1-2 is just amazing. Luka is just such a star and it was just amazing for us that he could get a second place as well. We gave this team a 1-2 their first year together and that is just an amazing job by everyone and so happy for the whole group."
HOW TOUGH WAS IT RACING ON SLICKS UP FRONT ESPECIALLY WHEN IT GOT DAMP A COUPLE OF TIMES? “Oh it was a tough day. I mean it was tough for everyone especially with the changing conditions. It wasn’t as difficult as you would think like if rain was coming down and stayed pretty consistent once we started the race and the rain cleared up – or I should say as the track dried up mostly. It stayed that way all through the race and you just had to be careful not to hit any slick spots. Like I said, it wasn’t quite as difficult as people thought from a slick conditions. I think everyone had the same thing to work with and you just had to look out for the puddles. Thanks to everyone at CF Racing and hopefully we can continue to do this because the year isn’t over yet."
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: I AM TOLD THAT YOU ARE THE HIGHEST FINISHING ITALIAN HERE SINCE ZANARDI IN 98, WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR YOU AND YOUR GROUP? “I was following Zanardi when I was a young kid and he was winning races. So this is how I started to love IndyCar racing. I am very proud to be on the podium and to bring the Italian flag up here. I am very happy because normally when you finish second, you are always a little upset for some reason but this time in having a 1-2 for CFH Racing is so good. Here we had some really close racing between me and Josef but even though it was hard racing, we have respect for each other and we are both extremely happy. We needed a result and here we come."
SARAH FISHER, TEAM CO-OWNER: HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL TO SEE JOSEF COME THIS FAR FROM YOU GIVING HIM HIS START TO NOW HERE WITH TWO WINS?“Man, I am just really proud of everybody on this team. Proud of Josef and I am proud of the 20 car guys to have Luca (Filippi) come home in the Fuzzy’s Chevrolet and to come home 1-2, wow I would have never thought that would have happened. I am just proud of everyone and I want to thank Wink and Liva Hartman. They weren’t here this weekend and I really wish they would have been. It’s just amazing."
ED CARPENTER, TEAM CO-0 THIS HAS TO BE THE HIGH OF ALL HIGHS TO GO ONE-TWO: “Yes it is. I’ e been pretty down since the performances at Indy and at Texas. It was so disappointing. But we knew we had strong street-course cars all year long. The best part of it is that both drivers and both crews executed on the same day and we all get to celebrate together. That is the most fun. Both drivers did a great job. We kind of ended up on different strategies and each stand made their calls. We didn’t start together, but we ended up together at the end. Just a huge day. Very thankful for Chevrolet, Hartman Oil, Fuzzy’s Vodka. It was a good day for the team."
MORE POST-RACE QUOTES:
WILL POWER (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "(The race) went quickly. I was surprised. They said it was the end and I was like, 'Really, that's it?' But, yeah, I was happy. We went with a low risk – we didn't want to get caught out by the yellow. I felt like, if we'd had five more laps, our car was pretty strong because we had black (tires) and Helio had reds on. We gained some points back with a solid top-four (finish). It was a championship type day for the Verizon Chevy team."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): "After all the circumstances today – what a great job from the Hitachi boys. Roger (Penske) made a great call. I had no idea how they put me up there, but we were running really strong laps. The car was on rails. It's a shame, certainly, it was crazy. I was pushing like I stole it. But in the end it was great. It was a shame with the weather a little bit, but thank God we were able to put some dry laps out there for the fans. The Canadian fans are always awesome. This is a great event and I hope when we come here next year, we get a win."
STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "I struggled on the wet tires at the beginning. But then when we switched to the slick tires after 10 laps, the car was really good and really fast and I was able to make up positions and run as fast as the leaders. My crew did a great second pit stop and I rejoined 16th. At the restart, I gained another position and got as high as 14th when I broke a tiny bit too late in Turn 5 and hit the wall. That broke my suspension and, unfortunately, that was then it for me."
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 8 AFS Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "It was a long day out there for the No. 8 AFS team after a very positive start to the weekend. I felt pretty strong with the car and after the conditions yesterday, but we didn't quite get our setup right for the dry. It's unfortunate because you want to get the most out of the car and yourself, and today it didn't happen for us."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Jurassic World Chevrolet): "Not the day we wanted to have, obviously, in the Jurassic World car. The start of the race was really strung out and there seemed to be big gaps everywhere. We managed the transition well between the rain and dry-weather tires early on, but then got shuffled back. We were in good shape in the top five for the first part of the race, but then after the last stop we slid back in the top 10. The car wasn't bad, we just ended up back there with the flow of the race, unfortunately."
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "We struggled a little at the beginning of the race just trying to make the passes we needed and we lost a few spots on the restart early on. We regrouped and decided on an aggressive fuel strategy that kept me out longer than everyone else on the last stint and allowed me to get out of all of the traffic that had been holding me up throughout most of the race. Once we were able to get out of the traffic and in clear air, I think we were running almost a second faster than everyone else, so we definitely had the car to be up front. I have to thank the NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing crew guys for keeping me in this race. Our last stop of the race was so quick that I was actually able to make up seven spots. Sixth isn't where I wanted to be, but with where we were running earlier on, it was definitely an improvement."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Chevrolet): "For sure, we could have stretched it but (Carlos) Munoz just made it very difficult for us. We destroyed the tires behind him, both Power and I, and we finished, you know, behind each other. … Obviously the guys who were in clean air who stayed out there who ran some quick laps on their own and it was the right thing to do, except obviously, if there had been a yellow like on the first sequence, then you cycle to black (primary tires) and the race is over. It was a defense strategy. It was the right thing to do. We probably should have done it on the first one as well, not to expose ourselves but, hey, that's the problem with yellows and closed pits. Sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rousseau Metal Honda): "I was pleased with the car's performance, but it's just not quick enough everywhere. We've just got to work on it. I think we found some things this weekend that will help us going forward, but it's just frustrating to put all the effort in that we are and to finish ninth. I feel like we deserve better than this but we're going to keep trying hard. I was either stuck in traffic, trying to get by (Takuma) Sato and getting blocked or cruising behind (Scott) Dixon. It was frustrating. We would have liked to get the Rousseau car further up there, but that was the best we had today."
RODOLFO GONZALEZ (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "The aim was to try to finish the race and running those laps up front was a big bonus. I think we took a big risk on our strategy and, in the end, it didn't pay off because we got that second caution so quickly and it screwed us up a little bit. It was certainly fun. We were down a little bit on pace, but I was able to keep those guys behind me and, in the end, I had fun. It was a good race for me. I am a rookie, in the end. It is only my third race and to be spending any time leading is great. It is funny, I didn't even know I was leading there at the end with (Josef) Newgarden. I was told I was leading all those laps after I got out of the car. I was just driving my race and knew I had a black car behind me. I thought maybe it was Gabby Chaves because we had been racing together earlier in the race. At one point, I was asking myself, 'Why do I keep getting Penske cars behind me?' In the end, it was a good, fun race. I am happy."
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "It was a strange race. It felt like we were recovering all the time. I had a good start but was caught on the outside of a driver that got on the brakes too late going into Turn 3. He took me into the escape road and put me all the way in the back. I had nowhere to go but straight. The pace was OK after that. All of the Hondas were running very similar pace, so track position was important. I had made up quite a few positions but made a mistake with the car's settings and lost all of the positions we had gained. We pitted early and had to save a bit of fuel to make it to the end. I think we had the pace to finish three spots higher if I had more fuel. I just couldn't really push hard in the last stint. That is just the way it goes sometimes. Everybody gave their best this weekend."
LUCA FILIPPI (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): "We had a goal to be on the podium and we both achieved it with both cars. It's nice when you set the goal and you achieve it and the team did everything perfectly to give us the opportunity to be up front. But we had a fast car and we knew we needed to be kind of in the clean air up in front and this is what we did — just kept pushing. We were faster and we ended up in front. I'm very happy. Very happy. The team did a great job. I thank the Fuzzy's Vodka team because they believe in me and they gave me the opportunity to race INDYCAR properly and my first podium. Many more to come."
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda): "Again, mechanical issues that ended our race. We were having a great race; I was fourth before everything and I think we had the speed to finish in that position or to fight for the podium. Once again, something out of the team and my hands – it's racing. We really need to check to see why this is happening, but we put our heads down and head to Fontana."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Dr Pepper Honda): "We kind of had an intermediate setup on. I think of we had a dry setup on and went to (Firestone primary tire) blacks at the end, it would have been the way to go. The (Firestone alternate tire) reds were gone halfway through the stint, I started to fall off (Simon) Pagenaud and there was nothing I could do to hang on to the rear of the Dr Pepper car. We're heading back to an oval with Fontana, so we'll see what we can do there."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "Right rear brake issues the whole race, slowly but surely just kept losing rear brake pressure until it finally went completely. I had no rear brake pressure at all and had to pull it in with one lap from the end. Wish we could have brought home a better result in the No. 28 DHL."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet, Honda Indy Toronto winner): "I'm so happy we were able to get a win, but a 1-2 is just amazing because Luca (Filippi) is such a star. I'm super happy for the whole group. Just an amazing team effort – I can't believe we had a 1-2. It got a little close there with Luca, but we were really just trying to keep up after we got into the final stint. I got a little bit of lapped traffic, but I couldn't do anything with the lapped traffic, but they wanted me to because of everyone that was coming. It's close racing and, for sure, I got a little lucky, too, on that yellow. But you can't discount that because it was an amazing effort by this crew at CFH Racing. They gave me amazing pit stops and a car to win. I'm definitely excited because this is Toronto and this is an INDYCAR town."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet): "It's a little frustrating that the incident with the No. 4 car (Stefano Coletti) cut my tire and sent me to the back of the field. Overall the pace of the No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet was really quick. I think we for sure had at least one of the top-five fastest laps of the race. I have to give a lot of credit to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew guys – they did a great job. It was challenging conditions and a lot going on for them in the middle of the race with so many stops right there in a row. We'll just put this one behind us and get back at it for the MAVTV 500 in Fontana in a few weeks."
GABBY CHAVES (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins / Curb Honda): "We had another race where we still managed to finish the race, learn some more. We definitely struggled with pace, so that is something we need to figure out. Why we are week in and week out not being able to close that gap that we need to close. Aside from that, I think the team is still highly motivated, I am still highly motivated. I think we can close out this last third of the championship improving even more and on a high."
|7||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||85||8.7242||0.9082||3||68||1:00.582||0||3|
|19||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||84||1 LAPS||0.0001||4||65||1:01.165||0||16|
|20||83||Charlie Kimball||84||1 LAPS||25.2518||7||66||1:00.277||0||15|
|21||7||James Jakes||84||1 LAPS||22.2763||5||62||1:00.748||0||12|
|22||26||Carlos Munoz||69||1 LAPS||43.7568||4||66||1:00.974||0||13|
|23||4||Stefano Coletti||40||1 LAPS||2.6140||3||25||1:01.513||0||20|
Winners average speed: 90.410 mph
Time of Race: 1:38:59.9460
Margin of victory: 1.4485 seconds
Cautions: 2 for 9 laps
Lead changes: 7 among 6 drivers
Verizon IndyCar Point Standings: Montoya 374, Power 347, Dixon 329, Castroneves 322, Rahal 283, Bourdais 274, Andretti 272, Newgarden 268, Kanaan 244, Pagenaud 232.