There’s a reason that most IndyCar drivers hate street circuits: their cars are designed to go fast on smooth surfaces, and don’t take well to the kind of abuse dished out by city streets. Variables like uneven pavement, curbing and transitions from asphalt paving to concrete create a racecar that resists all attempts at proper setup and is unpredictable at speed. It’s big fun for spectators, but no fun at all for drivers and team owners writing checks to repair crash damaged racecars.
Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto race was won by Will Power, driving for Team Penske, who started from the outside of the front row next to polesitter Justin Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing). Power’s victory wasn’t the result of bold passes or sound pit strategy; instead, he was one of the few drivers who made no major mistakes on the streets of Toronto. How bad was it? Power was the only Penske driver who wasn’t involved in a crash during the race. Of 26 cars that started, at least 16 were involved in on-track incidents during the race. Only 19 cars finished.
Power’s victory is his second in a row and puts him atop the driver’s championship standings. Rounding out the podium in Toronto were Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi) in second and Ryan Hunter Reay (Andretti Autosport) in third. Other noticeable achievements were rookie Simona de Silvestro’s ninth place finish (after a brilliant pass on veteran Paul Tracy) and returning driver Graham Rahal’s fifth place finish. Rahal returns to Newman Haas Racing after finding sponsorship from Quick Trim, and has put together a package for six races in 2010.