Conway wins in Toronto

Mike Conway wins in Toronto

Mike Conway drove the #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to victory in today’s Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto. Using a late race call by the Fuzzy’s Vodka team to take slick tires, Conway charged ahead of fellow competitors on rain tires to score the win. It was Conway’s fourth career win and 2nd of 2014.

Tony Kanaan was second in the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Will Power was third. Charlie Kimball came home fourth as Chevrolet swept the top-4 spots. Takuma Sato was the lead Honda in fifth.

The race was characterized by variable conditions. It started dry and overcast, but quickly changed to a wet race as the rain clouds opened up over Toronto as they had so many times this weekend.

"Mike said he was ready for drys. This one is all Mike; he did a great job," said team owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who won at Texas Motor Speedway in June.

Kanaan, who finished third in Race 1 and started ninth in Race 2, brought out a Lap 1 caution when the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car nosed into the tire barrier in Turn 3. He fell to 23rd on the restart.

"I made a little mistake on the start. I got too excited and I had to make it up," said Kanaan, who had podium finishes in the past three races. "You have to believe. You can't give up. We're here racing. I hate when I make mistakes, so I had to make it up."

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves led the early going from pole position. Late in the race he gave way to teammate Will Power. However, the Penske duo was forced to pit for fuel on a late race caution, and were unable to resume the lead.

Castroneves did manage to extend the championship lead he held over Power coming into the weekend from 9 to 13 points. Ryan Hunter-Reay is third in the championship with Simon Pagenaud fourth.

The next race for the series is at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in two weeks.

QUOTES

MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "It was really difficult conditions and we were kind of struggling out there for a bit and then I knew as soon as I could see the dry line I knew it was time to come in, and it was a great call. And the guys were up for it. I wasn't sure what they were going to say so from there we just kind of took off and just controlled the race. A bit nervous with the red flag there but I knew with Justin behind me, I knew we would be able to cover it. It was good fun out there." (About going onto slicks early) "It was really good. The tire temperatures came in really fast and that's what you need in those types of conditions so I could just control it and not have to push too hard and enjoy those last few laps."

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "The first race today I should have had a stronger finish, but I made a mistake that cost me that chance. In Race 2 we went for strategy on the wet tires at the end and it was working well. At the end if we had the yellow period we expected I would have had another strong finish. We risked it and it didn't pay off this time. I am really happy with the risk we took to try to get on the podium and the team did a great job. I hope we can have better luck at the end next time."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): "I felt I was driving a pretty good race again and went down the back straight. I had a run on Ryan Hunter-Reay. I had just hit push to pass and went to pull sixth gear and the car just stopped. I don't know what happened but something in the gear box is broken, at least that's my guess. It can't seem to find a gear. When I went through the accident scene there at the end it went into neutral. I couldn't get it back going. It's really tough (for) these National Guard guys. We've been working our butts off and, the luck, we just don't have any so I don't know what I've done wrong. Something apparently. But it's going to end soon and I think you'll see us on the top side of the podium soon."

LUCA FILIPPI (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "Everything went well at the beginning. We had a great start and great setup. Actually we were very fast then there was a yellow and everything went well. Then I made a mistake. It was a small one but it cost me quite a lot, especially because they didn't let me pack up before the end of the yellow. Then we were in a bit of a situation where we were running fifth and then we were in the back and suddenly there was a yellow again. And there was a chance to go for slicks (tires) or stay on wet tires. It was a bit of a difficult choice but we decided to stay on (rain tires) and got fourth again, but unfortunately it stopped raining and the tires, in the end, weren't the right choice. We tried the gamble though. Then I also got a puncture when I was hit from behind. After that we all had to go to slicks. At the end of the day what I can say is that our performance has always been very good through the whole weekend, through qualifying, what we did this morning in the first race and also in the second race. All the time we were very fast. This is not the result I wanted, but at least we proved that me and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team together can do well. We are developing a great relationship and I am really pleased with everyone in the team. I really hope we can work together again in the future."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda): "We had a mechanical issue in our electronics, and it was really a shame. We had a car to win today. We were super-fast in the wet, and I think we were the fastest car all weekend. It's a big step back for us in the championship though, and we can't do that at this point of the season. It's hard to digest that, but we'll bounce back with the same approach we took here. The good thing is we're strong at Mid-Ohio."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "It was another disappointing finish for the No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet. We were running so well all race and then that last incident just completely took us out of it. We did some major damage to the right rear bumper and the front wing and just couldn't make up all of those positions that we lost. We'll keep looking forward and hopefully our test next week at Mid-Ohio will help us in a few weekends when we race there."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet): "When it really mattered there at the end, the No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet was quick. I have to give a huge amount of credit to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew – they just always seem to get it right with the strategy. It was really nice to see a couple of Chip Ganassi cars up there in front and at one point it looked even better when we were all running third-sixth. It was tough conditions with the rain and concrete patches on the track, but we were able to push through all of the elements and make some passes at the right times. I'll take the fourth place, especially heading into Mid-Ohio."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): "It wasn't the result we had hoped for but we were in a good position most of the day. The Target cars were fast and we were running three-four there behind the Penske cars and it was shaping up to be a showdown. We got caught up in the wreck at the end which dropped us back, but we kept the car running so it could have been much worse I guess."

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): "I made a little mistake on the start. I got too excited and I had to make it up. We went from dead last to third to second so I'm extremely happy and, again, I've got to thank the fans. You guys are awesome. Hanging around for two days, I know it was painful. It was painful for us but we made it. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the show." (About going from last to second place) "You have to believe. You can't give up. We're here racing. I hate when I make mistakes, so I had to make it up. I didn't want to go back to the truck and look at Chip and say, 'Hey man, I made a mistake.' So I had to make it up. It worked well for us. Conway did a great job. A great weekend for Chevy. Swept the podium twice. Top three twice. We're getting closer. I really want to give Chip a win so bad and Target."

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers KV AFS Chevrolet): "It wasn't a very positive weekend for us. We were unable to really find the pace in qualifying yesterday. And then in Race 2 this afternoon we had some kind of mechanical issue that prevented me from really racing. Unfortunately this situation ended our race later on. We will move forward from this and keep the team's spirits positive. We still have some important races ahead where we can get good results and points towards the championship."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): "I'm pleased with a top 10 in Race 1, but we knew we had some room to improve the car, it was a bit of a handful. We took a swing at it and (the car) was so good at the start of Race 2. We were picking off guys and just got caught out on the wet concrete there when (Juan) Montoya crashed. It's just one of those things, I mean, if the accident behind me hadn't been so severe, we probably would have only gone one lap down and probably could have gotten that lap back. But (the safety officials) were rightfully attending to Mikhail (Aleshin) who was potentially hurt, and as a result we went four laps down and there's no recovering from that. I'm really disappointed, the car was so good and the UFD guys did a great job so disappointed to not bring home a better result in Race 2."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Dr. Pepper Honda): "That was a survival weekend, really not pleased with how things went. I wasn't pleased with the pace we had at all and was hoping for better results in both races. We'll move on to Mid-Ohio in another week and look to improve."

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "Toronto just wasn't kind to us this weekend. We had a fast car this weekend, crew was stellar, the team effort was really good. We just didn't get anything put together. Race 2, there was a lot of could have beens. Three different moments where we just needed circumstances to shake out for us and they didn't work out. The red at the end really put the nail in the coffin. Without the red I think we would have still been OK, but that pretty much finished us off. Unfortunate weekend." (On staying out on slicks when rain hit) "We tried to make the slicks work because we committed to it. We would have gone way in the back of the line if we switched to wets and at that point in the race you have to try and make it work. It started raining harder and then I looped in 11, but fortunately I was able to spin it into the pits and change to rain tires."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Hawk Team Penske Chevrolet): "We stayed out on the reds (tires) and it was the wrong call. We just went from bad to worse. Starting in the back in such short races makes it almost impossible to get anything! In the second race it was really good. I told them the lap before I think we needed wets, but we didn't come in. It felt OK, and started braking OK then when I got to the concrete, it just went straight. It was really wet by then and they couldn't turn either."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "Nothing really went right for us today. The first race with TK (Tony Kanaan), I was moving forward and I knew I had to make something happen with him on black (tires) and me on reds – we're fighting for every inch of real estate here. So it's really not his fault, I just stuck my nose in there. As for (Race 2) nothing went right at all. I was off the race track, off the racing line and coming to pit lane and then the pit close light went on. I thought I was OK to commit to pit. It was a matter of a split second and we ended up with a drive thru (penalty) for it. Then we missed the call to come in for slicks by a lap and then the yellow came out. A bunch of stuff just didn't go our way, but we're back to third in the championship and 69 points out. We can still make (the championship) happen, for sure."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "It was an eventful second race. I really don't know where to start with it! We just kept battling along and we opted to try to stay out and gamble and it didn't really pay off. It was probably the right thing to do but it is just tough, you know, you are leading with five minutes to go and that red flag pushed things back. I guess that is just the way things go sometimes. We were really hoping for another on track incident and to go under yellow to the end which would have really helped us out. You have three laps there at the end on a dry track with wet tires and I tried to get as good of a restart as possible to make the most of it, but the last lap and a half guys were just driving by me. I was really hanging on there at the end. At the end of the day we earned two top 10 finishes, not happy, but we will keep trying to progress and keep improving."

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda): "I just smacked the car and ended up under the car and that was not such a great feeling at all. So I'm sorry for my spectators and all the guys who support me, but that's life and the most important thing is everything is fine and I was not hurt." (About the look of the helmet, which indicates that the car was sitting on top of it) "You can see. You have some marks here on the helmet and it was not nice at all because I was sitting under the car. It was getting so hot from this car I couldn't breathe at all because the car is very hot so I was just sitting under this car and it was impossible to breathe and it was not a nice feeling at all."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet): "It was a great weekend for the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing team. It was just a shame the way it ended with the Sato incident, which cost us a top-five finish in the second race. Regardless, we sat on the pole and we won a race. The Hydroxycut guys did a great job preparing the car and in the pits the whole weekend. Finally all the expectations, hard work and pace we have had for most of the season ended with good results. Those positives are what we should keep in mind. Obviously, we have to keep working, keep digging, keep finding speed. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a long success story."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "Tony was very good on the half-wet track. I just wasn't willing after yesterday to take a big risk and get caught out again. So I still had to battle hard with Charlie all over me. It was a good day for the No. 12 Verizon Chevy team, typical IndyCar race where they throw everything at you. You just have to survive, and that is what we did."

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins Honda): "One of the craziest races I've ever been involved in before. We had a reasonable start and halfway through I made a mistake on the rain tires and spun the car so we ended up in the back. Once the track dried we opted to put the slicks on and gained a few positions and ended up P6. All in all a very good day, well done to everyone on the team, it was a good job!"

Results:

Pos No Name Laps Diff Gap Pits Engine PTS
1 20 Mike Conway 56 0.0000s 0.0000s 4 Chevy 218
2 10 Tony Kanaan 56 3.5418 3.5418 4 Chevy 380
3 12 Will Power 56 5.1545 1.6127 3 Chevy 520
4 83 Charlie Kimball 56 5.4857 0.3312 3 Chevy 317
5 14 Takuma Sato 56 6.6210 1.1353 4 Honda 234
6 98 Jack Hawksworth 56 7.8701 1.2491 5 Honda 287
7 9 Scott Dixon 56 7.9350 0.0649 3 Chevy 387
8 25 Marco Andretti 56 10.1765 2.2415 4 Honda 375
9 11 Sebastien Bourdais 56 12.0212 1.8447 3 Chevy 358
10 19 Justin Wilson 56 15.7853 3.7641 3 Honda 311
11 8 Ryan Briscoe 56 15.8671 0.0818 3 Chevy 344
12 3 Helio Castroneves 56 16.2205 0.3534 3 Chevy 533
13 16 Luca Filippi 56 16.4382 0.2177 3 Honda 49
14 67 Josef Newgarden 56 20.9127 4.4745 3 Honda 287
15 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 56 22.6140 1.7013 4 Honda 463
16 18 Carlos Huertas 56 29.2715 6.6575 2 Honda 264
17 34 Carlos Munoz 52 2 LAPS 2 LAPS 7 Honda 384
18 27 James Hinchcliffe 52 4 LAPS 101.5723 5 Honda 330
19 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 52 4 LAPS 0.1836 6 Chevy 428
20 15 Graham Rahal 50 13.8061 2.2556 3 Honda 266
21 17 Sebastian Saavedra 49 2 LAPS 1 LAPS 5 Chevy 229
22 77 Simon Pagenaud 47 9 LAPS 2 LAPS 7 Honda 462
23 7 Mikhail Aleshin 11 11.5432 0.3851 0 Honda 298

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