After just one podium finish in the opening seven rounds of the season, Will Power has won three of the last four races in the Verizon IndyCar Series, with the other finish being a second.
Power won Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, which was ran at the 1.75-mile temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place. While he started in fourth and ran up front throughout the whole race, his lucky break came during the final round of stops, when he pitted right before the fourth caution flew.
“I couldn’t believe it,” admitted Power after the race. “I was driving down pit lane and I saw the yellow lights come on and I was like, ‘Ah! When does that ever happen? That’s fantastic.’”
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Scott Dixon led the field away for the first of 85 laps on Sunday afternoon. However, the race was off to a slow start as two full course yellows flew in the first 10 laps, although all cars involved were able to continue.
The first was for a three-car incident on Lap 1 between Ryan Hunter-Reay, Charlie Kimball and Graham Rahal; the second was for debris after Juan Pablo Montoya got into the back of Josef Newgarden in the run down to Turn 3.
Dixon led Helio Castroneves for the rest of the first fuel stint but, right before pit stops, Castroneves’ left front tire went flat and he dropped back several positions in the pit cycle.
The new driver in second place was point leader Simon Pagenaud. As the field approached halfway, Pagenaud began to close in on Dixon for the lead as the defending champion was getting held up by Ryan Hunter-Reay, who fought – successfully – to stay on the lead lap.
On Lap 45, the third caution of the race flew as the Turn 5 curb began to fall apart. After some repairs, the field went back to green on Lap 50.
Scott Dixon attempted to build up a lead ahead of his second stop, but things fell south for him when defending race winner Josef Newgarden crashed on Lap 58. Newgarden appeared to be in pain after the crash, having sustained injuries just one month ago at Texas Motor Speedway, but he was checked and released from the infield care center.
Dixon was then forced to pit under that caution, dropping him back in the order. Tony Kanaan led the field back to green with 23 laps to go but was on a three-stop strategy. Behind him, Power was in second, having pit just before Newgarden’s crash. Subsequently, when Kanaan pit, Power inherited the lead and the win.
With four laps to go, Jack Hawksworth and Juan Pablo Montoya found themselves in the wall in Turn 5, setting the field up for a one-lap stint to the finish.
However, the running order at the front remained unchanged with Castroneves in second and James Hinchcliffe pleasing his home fans in third.