It almost certainly won’t be a Canuck goosing the gas toward victory lane come Sunday, so who might it be? Let’s take a gander.
Of five street course races so far this year – as opposed to equally unwatchable, though slightly different natural terrain road courses – Josef Newgarden’s won two while Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud have a win apiece. The cobbled together, part concrete, part asphalt and all bad track in Toronto most closely resembles dilapidated Detroit, which would seem to favor both Dixie and Newkid. Occasionally some exciting racing breaks out north of the border though, or what passes for it on a street course, which also sometimes happens in St. Pete where Josef won to kick off the fledgling season.
Photo from toronotograndprixtourist.com
Like Belle Isle, the race track itself is too narrow, winding and rough for much side by side racing, let alone passing. We unaffectionately refer to it as the Canuck concrete car crusher. As chronicled before on this site, TO needs to GO from IndyCar’s entirely inadequate schedule. At least until they build a better track – preferrably an oval. In the most recent reconfiguration of the decades old temporary circuit they didn’t even get pit lane right (it’s curved!), which in our estimation goes beyond amateurish and veers into wild goose chase territory.
Speaking of chasing, both last year’s winner Dixon and Whinin’ Will Power have triumphed thrice at TO, while Sebastien Bourdais and Newkid have won twice. Among active drivers, Ryan Hunter-Reay (with the hyphen here to stay) also stood atop the podium, representing Andretti Autosport’s sole victory north of the border – where Michael won an astounding seven times. You’d think Rossi’s boss could give him some tips – if not a decent car – at the scene of Andretti’s greatest success as a driver. Yet in three tries, AA’s ace has managed a giant goose egg.
Photo from autosport.com
As for Colton “Joaquin” Herta‘s hopes, the kid’s suffered bad luck, rookie recklessness and pit crew mistakes since his breakthrough at COTA in March. His best finish since becoming IndyCar’s youngest winner was eighth recently at Road America, but prior to that it was twelfth at Detroit – twice – along with several last place finishes and, alarmingly, four DNFs. Needless to say, Harding-Steinbrenner Racing’s rookie phenom/future of the series/little drummer boy needs to get his season back on track and quickly, else he risks looking like a silly goose.
Even then, he wouldn’t be as pathetic as another legacy with strong AA ties, Marco – whose goose is cooked.