Toronto Race Review: Take That NASCAR

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Photo from sports.usatoday.com

While NASCAR was rain delayed several hours at MIS – a track they stole from IndyCar, thank you Roger Penske – another classic IndyCar street fight broke out in what two time race winner and authentic Canuck Paul Tracy called “one of the best races I’ve ever seen at Toronto.” American Josef Newgarden won his second race of the season and his career as team owner Sarah Fisher – who happens to be female – shed tears of joy after the newly merged team went 1-2 with Italian Lucca Filippi. After disappointing in qualifying, Newgarden won from an 11th place starting position taking his second win in the last seven races.

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Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Despite absolutely awful renditions of both national anthems by Canadian rock group The Trews – which saw drivers and WAGS trying not to laugh on camera – IndyCar put on a helluva race in Toronto. With collisions galore in the wet and then dry conditions there was hard racing, action and passing all afternoon and merely two yellows – half the recent race average and fewer than expected on the wet streets of Exhibition Place. All the gnashing of teeth about another timed race, NBCSN not showing the number of laps, and so forth was all for naught as the race went the full eighty five laps in the end.

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

Team mates got thickly into the fight, with Filippi and Newgarden, Power and Pags, and Gonzalez and seemingly everyone else fighting it out on track. The banging began immediately when Stefano “double secret probation” Coletti hit Frenchman Tristan Vautier on the opening lap, spinning them both. Flaunting his probationary status, the Monacan tangled with others during the course of the event too, later making contact with Charlie Kimball. Fortunately none of those incidents drew a yellow, though further penalties will be forthcoming.

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Photo from indycar.com

Surprisingly there were only two cautions the entire race, the first coming a third of the way into the eighty five lap affair when James Jakes for SPM went off course into a tire barrier. The second came at the midway point for debris, aggravatingly dragging on for nearly fifteen laps. That’s not to say there couldn’t have been more cautions at the concrete car crusher of Toronto, with Conor Daly, Juan Montoya and several others going off track during the race. Despite the amount of contact it was generally light and the drivers behaved themselves well on the slippery course.

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Photo from sundownpictures.com

Credit to NBCSN for rolling with the changes and cranking up the pre race show an hour early to accommodate the race’s moved up start due to weather. The network provided its usual exuberant coverage with their increasingly husky trio of Leigh Diffey, Paul Tracy and Steve “Whooo!” Matchette commentating. While Diffey’s struggles with verb tense continued in a big way and Matchette’s mild Tourette syndrome was at times annoying the coverage was solid. Newcomer Katie Hargitt added some beauty to the program as pit reporter and clearly was delighted to be there. Plus, she’s diminutive enough to make most drivers look tall next to her. Jon Beekhuis was also back in action, apparently his passport in good order.

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Photo from twitter.com

One concern though was when Kevin Lee attributed Newgarden’s lead in the race to mere “circumstance.” You don’t often hear that when certain other teams are leading. Also, apparently Edward Snowden is in charge of IndyCar’s secrets, as the supposedly classified push to pass numbers were divulged late in the race by NBCSN revealing that Newgarden had utilized all his earlier in the race. It would have been interesting had anyone but his team mate been chasing the leader when this secret was divulged.

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

No matter how the NASCAR race at MIS turned out – and frankly, we don’t care – it couldn’t have been half the race IndyCar put on in Canada. With an attractive young American again at the top of the podium and a newly formed team again tasting success, Toronto was perhaps the best race since the Indy 500 or even Barber, the dramatic site of Newgarden’s first win in April. IndyCar managed to put on a riveting, aggressive and full length show in Ontario while the taxi cabs endured red flags, delays and a shortened race in Michigan. Hopefully ratings will show that viewers switched over for some real racing north of the border yesterday. We gladly say take that, NASCAR.

Pre Race Quotes:

Will Power on his broken thumb: “Well, it’s numb now, ha ha ha ha. Can’t feel it.”

JPM’s response to Robin Miller grading him on his his attitude: “I outta get a f___ing A!”

Post Race Quotes:

Sarah Fisher: “Oh man, I’m just really proud of everyone on this team.”

Josef Newgarden: “Just an amazing team effort. You know, I can’t believe we did a 1-2, even. It got a little close there with Lucca. . . . Close racing, but for sure I got a little lucky, too. . . . It was an amazing effort by this crew.”

Lucca Filippi, second place: “I’m very proud to be on the podium and to bring some Italian flag as well around here. . . . I’m very happy . . . Having a 1-2 for CFH Racing is so good. Here we had a close battle between me and Josef and you know he spin me a little out.”

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36 thoughts on “Toronto Race Review: Take That NASCAR

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  10. I just came across this article. As I am indeed Douglas Tranquada, I have to correct you. I did not sing the anthems at the 2015 Honda Indy. I sang them on July 20, 2014. I don’t know to whom you are referring with respect to the 2015 edition but I can assure it was not me. I would like to know how you got your information because it is totally inaccurate. I only wish I had seen the article when it was actually posted. I would appreciate you taking it down or posting a correction as it casts me and my reputation in a very bad light.

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