October 4, 2023

IndyCar Sheet: Streets of Toronto

What: Honda Indy Toronto / Race 10 of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series

Where: Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ont. – street track

When: Sunday, July 16, 1:30 PM ET (green flag 1:53 PM ET)

The NTT IndyCar Series heads north of the border for its annual rumble on the streets of Toronto, Ont. With nine races on the books and just eight to go, it could prove to be a crucial weekend for anyone with ambitions to chase runaway championship leader Alex Palou and his ever-growing points lead.

Winding around Exhibition Place close to the shore of Lake Ontario, the tight 11-turn, 1,786-mile course lends itself to some opportunistic overtaking, though often only one car makes it out unscathed. The long front straight leading to the right handed Princes’ Gate, Turn 1 and the Lakeshore Boulevard straight leading into a sharp 90 degree right hand turn at Turn 3 are the most obvious places to enter. but the left turn 5 and turn 8’s 90-degree right-hander, formed by the intersection of Manitoba Drive and Nova Scotia Avenue, may also play a role in some “Hail Mary” passing attempts.

Scott Dixon is Palou’s closest challenger in the standings, albeit 110 points (more than winning two race wins and every bonus point) behind his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate. But while Palou has four wins in the last five races, Dixon is the form man when it comes to Toronto. He’s won four times, including last year (below), and will look to close the gap as the series heads to its home game.

Chris Jones/Penske Entertainment

In the last 10 races in Toronto, the winner has come from the front row five times – three from pole and two from second (that guy Dixon in 2018 and ’22). As noted, passing moves carry a fairly high risk, but Josef Newgarden is the man when it comes to winning from further back in the pack. He started seventh for his win in 2017 and all the way back to eleventh for a win in 2015. The Team Penske driver is third in the standings, 116 points behind Palou, so he will be a man on a mission at Hogtown as well.

Sunday afternoon’s Honda Indy Toronto is scheduled for 85 laps and 151.81 miles. There is a chance of rain on Saturday and race day, and with temperatures soaring to 80 degrees on Sunday, it could be a real workout for the 27-car field – not least IndyCar debutant Tom Blomqvist, who fills in for a still recovering Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing after the Frenchman’s multiple roles in Mid-Ohio. NTT IndyCar Series cars are not equipped with power steering, so IMSA ace Blomqvist will certainly feel it on Monday morning…

You can catch all practice and qualifying on Peacock on Friday July 14 and Saturday July 15, with Peacock also your go-to venue for race day on Sunday July 16. And to get even closer, grab the best seat in the house with the INDYCAR app powered by NTT DATA and the 11 race day live built-in cameras.


Friday, July 14 / 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM ET – Practice 1 – Peacock

Saturday, July 15 / 10:35 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. ET – Practice 2 – Peacock

Saturday, July 15 / 2:50 PM – 4:20 PM ET – Qualifying – Peacock

Sunday, July 16 / 10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. ET – Heat up – Peacock

Sunday, July 16 / 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM ET – RACE – Peacock

* All sessions and the race are also available as audio commentary on SiriusXM and INDYCAR Radio.

Ride along with the INDYCAR app powered by NTT DATA

11 drivers take you into the action and carry cameras in the car. During the race, you can livestream them all using the INDYCAR app, powered by NTT DATA. You choose who you ride with and you can change drivers at any time. The app is free to download for fans around the world and you can learn more about it HERE. If you’re not already on board, you can take your viewing experience to a whole new level HERE.

With the action aboard the Honda Indy Toronto,…

Colton Harta / No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda
How Did This Guy Not Win a Race in 2023, Part 1. The past two races, Herta started on pole, then led 33 laps at Road America and then 26 laps at Mid-Ohio (below). In his current form he is the driver to beat, but he and his No. 26 Andretti Autosport crew have only beaten themselves. A premature pit stop at Road America left him fifth in the checkers, and a pit road speeding penalty dropped him back to 11th in Ohio. Kill the mistakes, put a whole weekend together and the 2022 Toronto pole winner and runner-up could be on their way to victory lane on Sunday.

Joe Skibinki/Penske Entertainment

Pato O’Ward / No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
How did this man not win a race in 2023 part 2. He is fifth in points, has four podiums so far including three second places, but O’Ward just hasn’t managed to turn the winning potential into yet a victory. Crashes at Long Beach, Indy and Detroit haven’t helped the cause, but you can expect the spectacular Mexican and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevy again threaten victory this weekend.

willpower / No. 12Team PenskeChevrolet
How Did This Man Not Win a Race in 2023, Part 3. The defending NTT IndyCar Series champion has been on the podium in two of the last three races, but is lagging behind when it comes to battling for victory, compared to the barrage of Alex Palou/Chip Ganassi Racing. Rediscovering his scintillating qualifying form of yesteryear and starting a little further down the grid could help his case. Either way, Team Penske’s trump card remains calm and determined, and that breakaway weekend is definitely coming. Will it be in Toronto? Don’t rule it out.

Kyle Kirkwood / No. 27 Andretti Au
tosport Honda
The winner of the Long Beach Acura Grand Prix has lost some momentum since taking that maiden IndyCar win in April. But two top-10 finishes in the last three races and a third-place grid finish in Mid-Ohio during the final timeout are positive evidence that momentum is returning. Toronto is a track he loves, with three wins between the walls on his rise through the junior open-wheel ranks, and it could be another strong showing this time around. Stage battle? Certainly. A little bit more? Could be.

Scott McLaughlin / No. 3Team PenskeChevrolet
McLaughlin won at Barber in April but hasn’t been on a podium since. Still, you get the sense that a big weekend is coming for the Team Penske driver (below), and that his three top-10 finishes in the last three races have been the calm before the storm. Street courses have been his bread and butter during his seasons of Australian Supercar dominance, and he’s already scored a 2022 win within the walls of St. Pete, so watch out for the Kiwi who will be a major factor in Toronto.

Felix Rosenqvist / No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevy
After two disappointing races at Road America and Mid-Ohio, Rosenqvist will be looking to return to the fighting form that earned a podium on the streets of downtown Detroit last month. Sooner or later someone will break Arrow McLaren’s victory drought. Could it be the Swede, and could it be Sunday on the shore of Lake Ontario?

Alexander Rossi / No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevy
Aside from a podium at the Indy Grand Prix, Rossi’s big ‘welcome to Arrow McLaren’ moment is yet to come. He and engineer Craig Hampson are attuned, but like his teammates, Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, the 206 Indy 500 winner is struggling to put together a coherent season. Finishing just 10th at Road America and Mid-Ohio lowered the trajectory he had through Indy and Detroit, but it doesn’t feel like a trend yet, and two Toronto career podiums say this could be the weekend to turn things up. up again.

Graham Rahal / No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
After qualifying second at Mid-Ohio and battling for a podium until a few minor pit stop mishaps dropped him to seventh, Rahal (below) heads to Toronto with a real chance to continue the uptrend to put. Execution is key, and Rahal is looking for the RLL crew to erase those pit lane mistakes, but Toronto delivered its best result of 2022 with a fourth-place finish. Can he match that, or even better?

Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

Callum Ilott / No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet
It is time for Ilott and his Juncos Hollinger Racing team to rediscover the enthusiasm and momentum that brought them top-10 finishes in the first two races of the campaign. Things have been a bit of a grind since then, but if it just half clicks in Toronto, second place in 2020 Formula 2 could be back in the top-10 – or higher.

Christian Lundgaard /No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Like his teammate Graham Rahal, Lundgaard enjoyed RLL’s Mid-Ohio revival, qualifying fifth and then running strong in the race to match his season-best finish of fourth. Lundgaard started 10th and finished eighth on his first visit to Toronto last year, the track where he says he and the team started to make progress. Something similar this time around and the Danish road racing specialist could even be a podium contender.

Tom Blomqvist / No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda
With Simon Pagenaud sitting out Toronto after his wild ride in Mid-Ohio practice, MSR’s highly regarded 2022 IMSA DPi Champion Blomqvist is called up for his NTT IndyCar Series debut. The British-born Swede (below) tested an MSR IndyCar machine last year, but with no time to hit the sim before heading to a track he’s never raced before, it’s going to be a weekend drinking from the fire hose. “I don’t know what to expect,” Blomqvist told RACER. “I have never in my life been so unsure of how this is going to turn out; I have a feeling that it is going better than expected or that it is going to be very, very tough.” Either way, he’s excited about the opportunity and will be fascinating to ride aboard.

The INDYCAR app powered by NTT DATA is free to download and access, so don’t miss out – CLICK HERE start.

Story originally appeared on Racer

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