Toronto Preview: Canadian Token


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Part concrete, part asphalt and completely lined with walls, the streets of Toronto often resemble a Canuck concrete car crusher when IndyCar rolls into town. They’ll do so for the thirty second time Sunday in Canada’s token race of the year.


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We’ve raised alarms about our northern neighbor’s dwindling presence in IndyCar before; like the sport in general, the Canadian situation has shown little improvement. There’s been talk of a new race way out west in Calgary’s oil patch, but who knows? The schedule’s been so chaotic lately it makes nights out in U.S. cities look tranquil by comparison.


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Toronto used to be a double header like Belle Isle, but mercifully they discontinued the practice last year. Consider the move a token of Canadian IndyCar esteem. Hopefully BI will follow suit, or better yet be replaced by Michigan International Speedway.


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Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mad Will Power are among previous winners of the race at Exhibition Place. But heck far, so’s former Canadian and current ballooning Nevadan Paul Tracy. Speaking of Canucks, James Hinchcliffe missed last year’s contest after his car shish kabobbed him at Indy, but he’ll be there this weekend in all his Mayoral splendor. The token Canadian race actually will have a token Canadian driver this year.


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Ascending American star Josef Newgarden won last year after starting eleventh, beating then team mate Luca Filippi – who’s back this year with Coyne – and Penske relic Helio Castro Neves to the checkers. Power was pole sitter, with Frenchman Simon Pagenaud starting second and Juan Montoya third in Penske qualifications sweep. Fat lot of good it did them, as before divorcing the short lived CFH Racing took home the Canadian gold and silver.


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Andretti Autosport teammates Hunter-Reay and Carlos “OK” Munoz both suffered mechanical failures while KV’s laughable Stefano “crashier than Andretti” Coletti crashed out. There were only two cautions in 2015 – one for Coletti and the other for debris – an unusually low number for Toronto. Four cautions has been the norm lately, as the concrete alleys and bumpy parking lots usually spit out Dallara pieces like slot machines dropping tokens at Caesar’s, Windsor.


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Deeper in Maple leaf history, Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais and Englishman Mike Conway won the defunct double header in 2014. Bourdais and Helio took the poles. Newgarden, Hunter-Reay, Filippi and Takuma Sato all retired due to contact in race one while only reckless Russian Mikhail Aleshin crashed in the more mannerly second. Still, Graham Rahal, Munoz and Sebastien Saavedra all suffered mechanical issues on the punishing temporary circuit. Seems not all Canadian tokens are of the appreciative sort.


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If you decide to forego international travel IndyCar style, then prepare for a shock this weekend. NASCAR is wreaking havoc on NBCSN’s coverage, so you may have to find CNBC on the remote, assuming you even get it. Oh well, at least Daffy Leigh Diffey will be back in the booth. If you’re attending the race in person then prepare for passport checks, hilarious accents and some mighty strange football. Also, remember to spend all those Canadian tokens. They’re no good in the U.S.


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4 thoughts on “Toronto Preview: Canadian Token

  1. Pingback: Toronto Predictions & Prognostications: Penske’s Province | Indy Race Reviewer: Fast and Funniness

  2. Pingback: Toronto Preview: Hinch, Hometown Hero Or Mere Mischief Maker? | Indy Race Reviewer: Fast and Funniness

  3. Pingback: Toronto IndyCar Predictions and Prognostications: Ill-Tempered Edition | Indy Race Reviewer: Fast And Funniness

  4. Pingback: Toronto IndyCar Preview: Dallara’s Dollar Devising Dream Date | Indy Race Reviewer: Fast And Funniness

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