2022 IndyCar Recap: Honda Indy Toronto

2022 IndyCar Recap: Honda Indy Toronto

by July 18, 2022 0 comments

After one of the most interesting lead-up weeks in IndyCar history, a race broke out in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This marked the first trip north of the border since 2019. Naturally, all eyes were on Champion Alex Palou and his in flux status for 2023, but he was there to compete like everyone else. Speaking of drivers linked to McLaren in one form or another, Colton Herta won pole position on Saturday over Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden. It’s been an up and down season for the young Andretti driver, but coming off a successful F1 test, his fortunes could be taking a turn for the better.

Be sure to keep up with all of our IndyCar coverage.

Palou Saga Continued

In nothing short of sheer coincidence, Marshall Pruett of RACER revealed that the two teams involved in the Palou drama, Ganassi and McLaren, shared a charter flight to Toronto. However, things were cordial as the boots on the ground folks are all friendly with each other which is nice to hear. Where things became interesting is when Palou’s teammate Dixon got asked about the matter.

“For me, honesty is key, man. Loyalty as well. You know, it’s very easy in this community, it’s a small community, to change how you’re looked upon or respected quite quickly. Personal view for myself and how I would have done this? It wouldn’t be like this.” – Via RACER.com

Would be hard to guess that Palou hasn’t seen that quote in some way, shape, or form. Coming from effectively the driver-captain of that team, that quote holds a significant amount of weight. As for Palou, he stated that he and Chip Ganassi are on good terms, which feels good based on everything this week.

Green Flag…and Were Done

A track that was described by Townsend Bell as ‘The Baja 1000 of street/road courses’ took an immediate victim in the form of Takuma Sato. The two-time Indy 500 winner was forced wide going into turn one and completely killed the right front. Somehow, he was able to drive his car back to pit road, but the amount of debris left on track resulted in a caution inside of three laps.

 

Going Long

With the opening stint of stops beginning around lap 12, the most prominent driver to stay out the longest was race leader Herta, who ended up as one of the last two cars to come in. This ended up backfiring, as the other car going into the pits with him was Scott McLaughlin, whose stall was right in front of Herta’s. Herta ended up suffering big time because a short pitting Dixon was able to get into the lead going into turn one by the time Herta got back on track. By lap 21, Dixon built up a 1.5-second gap on the pole sitter.

The most interesting strategy was being run by Jimmie Johnson, however, who didn’t pit until lap 35. This resulted in him running in third for several laps before pitting. Honestly, not the worst strategy if your gonna start in the back of the field, as it was working. In addition, Johnson showed off some good skill running on old tires in this spot.

Quickie Yellows

Not only is Beef for Dinner, but it was also served as a late lunch in IndyCar for the second race in a row. Potential 2023 teammates Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi got tangled up in turn three, with Rosenqvist shoving Rossi into the outside wall, ending his day. Rosenqvist had room on the inside but got loose in the middle of the corner, and Rossi’s steering wheel got knocked out of his hands. No action was taken against Rosenqvist, although it is hard to fault Rossi for being upset.

Afterward, another came out just as the field just got settled in. This time for a huge chunk of concrete on the entry to turn one. That is a big safety issue, and luckily race control identified it before it got punted. We weren’t done yet either, as Johnson and Kyle Kirkwood wrecked at the end of the ensuing lap to bring out yet another caution. Rinus VeeKay, who was on a longer pit cycle, was more or less forced to pit here, with the race nearing the 20-to-go mark.

Iceman Cometh

It had been a hot minute since Dixon last won an IndyCar race. Texas 2021 was the last time the No. 9 PNC Bank machine made it to victory lane. However, that all changed Sunday, as the Iceman broke a 23-race winless streak. Dixon also hit a major all-time milestone in the process. By beating Herta north of the border, he ties Mario Andretti for the second most wins in IndyCar history at 52. Now just one man has more wins than the Kiwi, the legendary A.J. Foyt at 67 victories.

Having Mario Andretti calling you a friend seems like a lot of fun if we’re being honest.

2022 Honda Indy Toronto Top 10

1st No. 9 Scott Dixon

2nd No. 26 Colton Herta

3rd No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist

4th No. 15 Graham Rahal

5th No. 8 Marcus Ericsson

6th No. 10 Alex Palou

7th No. 60 Simon Pagenaud 

8th No. 30 Christian Lundgaard

9th No. 3 Scott McLaughlin

10th No. 2 Josef Newgarden

IndyCar Series Points Standings after Toronto

1st No. 8 Marcus Ericsson 351 Points

2nd No. 12 Will Power 316 Points (-35)

3rd No. 10 Alex Palou 314 Points (-36)

4th No. 2 Josef Newgarden 307 Points (-44)

5th No. 9 Scott Dixon 307 Points (-44)


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 

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