CLEVELAND, Ohio — Honda’s IndyCar issues continue as only two cars qualified in the top 10 for today’s Honda Indy Toronto race and both were well back in the pack with Takuma Sato eighth and Graham Rahal 10th on the starting grid.
But the tightly packed frontrunners for Chevrolet continued as defending series champion Will Power will start on the pole for the tight 11-turn, 1.755-mile street circuit in Toronto.
The race is scheduled to start at 3:37 p.m. and will be televised on the NBC Sports Network, with coverage beginning at 3. You can follow the live race leaderboard here.
“You’ve got to drive around here,” Power told the media afterward. “It’s all man-handling because you’ve got those slippery surfaces in the middle of the corners, so you’ve got to be on the wheel a lot.”
The 85-lap race will be tense from the start. Two of Power’s teammates, Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo-Montoya are the next two on the grid followed by the hottest driver on the circuit in recent weeks, Scott Dixon. And while popular Helio Castroneves is only seventh, he is a threat to win as well.
Meanwhile, the Honda struggles continue.
“We have just got to keep working hard,” Rahal said after qualifying. “We are trying to find a way to get the car to do one particular thing a little more consistently. It’s kind of throwing everything at me, which is fine, but, for the race, we would like to settle the rear down a little.
“We are struggling to make a little bit of everything better but the rear (of the car) is where I would like to improve for the race. We need to keep the tires underneath us, which has been one of our strengths this year. For us to be able to beat the Chevys up front, we’re going to need some good rear tire wear.”
Schedule: Sunday, race, 3:37 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, 3-6 p.m.).
Track: Toronto (street course, 1.755 miles).
Race distance: 149.175 miles, 85 laps.
Pole sitter: Will Power.
Last year: KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Mike Conway won doubleheader races.
Last week: Scott Dixon won at Texas for his second victory of the year and 37th overall. Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan was second.
The points race: A Chevrolet car is clearly going to win it all, but it’s pretty tight for ‘best in class’ among the Hondas. Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti are fourth/fifth in the overall standings and one/two among Hondas just six points apart. The third Honda driver is Carlos Munoz who is 12th.
Driver to watch: Bourdais picked off a victory in the last double-header street race in Detroit.
Did you know: Dixon, coming off Texas Speedway win, has also won this year on the street course in Long Beach, California. … Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya also has two victories this season, winning the St. Petersburg, Florida, opener and the Indianapolis 500. Montoya leads the standings, 35 points ahead of teammate Will Power.
Next race: June 27, Fontana 500, Fontana, California.