The Honda Indy Toronto Race 2 of the doubleheader weekend for the IZOD IndyCar Series made history with the first ever standing start in the series and from that start to the finish, which was under caution, Scott Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team dominated. No other driver could hang with Dixon, who completed the weekend sweep of the two races and picked up a $100,000 bonus in doing so.
The win was also the third straight for Dixon. He last did that in the 2007 season. It was his 32nd career win which has him now in sole possession on seventh on open-wheel's all-time wins list. More than the bonus money or moving up the wins list ladder Dixon was excited for the points he gained in Toronto.
"Hey the 100 grand is great but I'd rather take the points," Dixon said in victory lane. "The points are what we are here for."
With his three straight wins Dixon has moved from seventh to second in the points. He only trails Helio Castroneves by 29 points.
Castroneves finished second to Dixon in Race 2. Sebastien Bourdais scored his second podium in as many days for Dragon Racing by finishing in third.
Will Power was again caught up in a late accident that cost him a shot at a podium finish. On a restart on lap 84 of 85 Power was battling down into Turn 1 in third place and got loose under Ryan Hunter-Reay off of the turn. He slid to the outside line and forced Hunter-Reay into the wall and also hit the wall himself. Takuma Sato also had nowhere to go and slammed the wall and then Hunter-Reay. Power finished 18th, Hunter-Reay 19th, and Sato 20th.
Yesterday, Power was caught up in a last lap crash in Turn 3 when he made contact with Dario Franchitti and then hit the tires. He finished 15th after battling for third in that race. Race control at the end of Race 1 gave Franchitti a 25 second penalty for blocking which dropped him to 13th but on Sunday morning they overturned that call and gave the third position back to him.
Franchitti missed the melee this time and finished fourth. EJ Viso finished in fifth which is his best street course finish in his career. Charlie Kimball took sixth, Mike Conway seventh, Justin Wilson eighth, Marco Andretti ninth, and Alex Tagliani tenth.
Since the standing start was aborted in Race 1 on Saturday IndyCar decided to try it again for Race 2. This time it went off the way they had designed. Ed Carpenter was the only driver to not get going as he stalled. Rookie Carlos Munoz did a good job of avoiding him. Munoz was filling in for Ryan Briscoe in the Panther Racing No. 4 car after Briscoe suffered a broken wrist in a crash in Race 1.
Dixon got a good standing start and his dominance on the race started from there. James Hinchcliffe, the local favorite, did not make the grid as his car had the throttle pedal stuck. He joined the race three laps down and ended up finishing in 21st.
Dario Franchitti started on the front row with his teammate Dixon but got swallowed up by the Penske duo of Castroneves and Power in Turn 1. Franchitti damaged his wing when he made contact with the rear of Castroneves and then Power nudge into the wing as well. He had to pit on lap 1 to change the nose.
By lap 12 Dixon has a 3.2 second lead over Castroneves. Power was third even further back with Hunter-Reay fourth and Bourdais fifth.
On lap 24 Scott Dixon pitted from the lead. Castroneves then pitted on lap 26 along with Bourdais. Power pitted on lap 28 which gave the lead back to Dixon.
By lap 34 Dixon had a 7.9 second lead over Castroneves. On lap 35 Dario Franchitti pitted for his second stop but was looking like he could get back into contention especially if a caution came out.
On lap 37 Tony Kanaan hit the wall off of Turn 11 which ended his race but a caution did not come out. He finished in 24th, last place.
By lap 50 Franchitti was running in 11th still needing the caution since he was a little over 40 seconds behind Dixon.
Final stops started on lap 56 for the leaders when Castroneves pitted from second. Dixon pitted on lap 57 and Power, Hunter-Reay, and Bourdais on lap 58. Dixon held a dominant lead even after the stops.
On lap 65 the first caution came out when James Jakes crashed in Turn 5. He lost control after his hands came off the wheel when he went over the curbing. He finished 23rd. Franchitti was able to pit before the pits closed and he wound up exiting in the sixth position.
The race restarted on lap 71 with Dixon in the lead and he had the lap cars on Graham Rahal, Simona De Silvestro, and Carlos Munoz ahead of Castroneves, Power, Hunter-Reay, Bourdais, and Franchitti. Hunter-Reay moved past Power on the start. On lap 74 Power and Bourdais made the pass on Hunter-Reay to shuffle him back to fifth.
Dixon had opened a big lead when on lap 79 the second caution came out when Ed Carpenter crashed in Turn 5. He finished 22nd.
That set up a restart with two laps to go. Hunter-Reay got aggressive into Turn 1 and when Power got loose off Hunter-Reay was in the wrong spot. The two made contact with each other and then the outside wall. Takuma Sato also piled in. Others did a good job to avoid and continued on until the third caution was thrown.
From there Dixon just followed the pace car to victory as the IZOD IndyCar Series does not add laps for a green-white-checkered finish like NASCAR does.
Josef Newgarden finished 11th and Simon Pagenaud 12th as the last two cars on the lead lap. Graham Rahal took 13th, Simona De Silvestro 14th, and Sebastian Saavedra 15th. Tristian Vautier was 16th with Carlos Munoz 17th.
After the Toronto doubleheader Helio Castroneves holds a 29 point lead over Scott Dixon in the championship. Ryan Hunter-Reay had a tough weekend and dropped to 69 points back in third. Marco Andretti is 70 points behind in fourth. Simon Pagenaud is fifth, Tony Kanaan sixth, Dario Franchitti seventh, James Hinchcliffe eighth, Justin Wilson ninth, and Will Power tenth.
The next race for the IZOD IndyCar Series is Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on August 3rd.
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