For the first time in three years, Chevrolet and the rest of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES head north of the border as the series returns to Exhibition Place for the Honda Indy Toronto street race.
Honda has served as title sponsor of the Toronto event since it returned to the IndyCar Series schedule in 2009. The sponsorship is administered through Honda Canada, Inc., Honda Motor Company’s Canadian subsidiary.
The 1.786-mile, 11-turn circuit hasn’t played host to INDYCAR since the 2019 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chevy power from its 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 won that race – one of seven for Chevrolet in Toronto – and the goal is to return the Bowtie to victory circle again on its Canadian return.
“We’re all excited to return to Toronto,” said Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Program Manager for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “Racing in front of the Canadian fans is a great experience. They’re incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the sport, which makes it even more special to go back. We’ve had a strong history at Toronto with a number of wins, poles and fast race laps. That and our level of success on street circuits this year bodes well for the chances of our Chevrolet teams to add to the tally this weekend.
“As at any street race, execution and strategy are key. Qualifying and track position will play huge roles in the outcome of the race. We’re ready to go all-out and help our teams start up front and stay there come Sunday.”
Chevrolet is a perfect three-for-three in street events this season with Toronto and Nashville still to go. It started with Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin winning his first INDYCAR race at St. Petersburg to open the season. Penske teammate Josef Newgarden followed at Long Beach a few weeks later, and Will Power scored another victory for Chevrolet and Team Penske at Belle Isle in early June.
Seven wins in 10 Toronto races since 2012 gives Team Chevy great vibes for its Canadian return. Newgarden, this year driving the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet for Team Penske and second in points, is a two-time winner with victories in 2015 for CFH Racing and in 2017 for Penske. He also was the fastest qualifier in 2018.
Teammate Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet and second in points, won in 2016 at Toronto under the Penske banner and sat on pole position in 2015 – one of seven for Team Chevy at Toronto. That year saw a remarkable performance from Chevrolet, which claimed the top eight positions at the end of the race.
Team Chevy also swept the podium in a Toronto doubleheader in 2014.
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING: “I’m most looking forward to the opportunity to race IndyCar in front of the hometown crowd. The Toronto Indy is one of the best street circuits we race on and I can’t wait to experience it in this car. I think the fans and the city are very excited to have us back, it should be a great turn out. It’s a very bumpy track with lots of pavement transitions, so you have to tune the suspension and dampers to handle those well. You don’t want to bottom out excessively, but also can’t sacrifice too much ride height. A big part of the challenge is knowing how much bumpiness and movement from the car that you’ll just have to accept as a characteristic of the track versus what needs to be tuned out to get the mechanical grip you need.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW McLAREN CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN SP: “I haven’t been to Toronto in a couple years so I am excited to go back. I love the atmosphere, the fans are always great and the city is fantastic. It’s a perfect time to have an INDYCAR race, as it starts an important section of the championship. I’m looking forward to working with the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP team and having a good race.”
FELIX ROSEQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN SP: “I am really excited to be back in Toronto. I think it’s one of those great cities in the world that we all enjoy coming to. Personally, it’s always been a good track for me. I’ve had some really good memories in Toronto in junior categories and also in INDYCAR where I drove here last in 2019. It doesn’t mean we can arrive relaxed. We’re obviously working really hard to get an edge on the other teams, especially after not being there in two years, so rolling out strong is going to be key. I think the prep work is going to be the important thing, then execute and try to have a good race after a difficult one last round in Mid-Ohio.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE: “The track is just difficult because there’s so many different levels of grip. Like, you never feel in the track, on top of the track, it’s sliding. The car never handles well. It’s kind of difficult to tell your engineer what to do because there’s so much compromise. Maybe it’s a track that it’s easy to make a mistake on. That’s why maybe veterans or people being around a bit longer don’t end up making mistakes. That might be the reason that you’ve seen champions win. Yeah, it’s a tough track. A lot of mayhem can happen there, a lot of mayhem.”
KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 ROKiT CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING: “It’s great that we are able to get back on the streets of Toronto. Given this year’s trend, I am always looking forward to the street courses. Toronto is a track that I personally have a lot of experience at and can’t wait to see what it feels like in the Indy car. I believe we’ll have a shot of redeeming ourselves from Detroit where we should have finished easily in the top 10.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING: “It’s always wonderful going back to Toronto! It’s a great track and Canadian race fans are so passionate and really just incredible people. It’s been far too many years since INDYCAR has been there. I’ve not raced there for even longer, so I am very much looking forward to getting back on track and continuing our strong season. ECR has done well there in the past so I am very excited and hopefully we will leave with more trophies!”
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN WITH BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING: “I am very excited for my first Indy car race in Toronto! I had a few wins there in my Road to Indy career and I always loved the track. In the past, ECR has had quite a few good results at Toronto as well so I can’t wait to see how we do at that track! I think we will have a great car and I hope to go for a podium or a win!”