By: Spencer Neff
July 14, 2019 | 1:02 PM
After two weeks away, the NTT IndyCar Series concludes its street course portion of the calendar at the famed Exhibition Place circuit. For this afternoon’s Honda Indy Toronto, 22 drivers are set for a scheduled 85 laps around the 1.758-mile, 11-turn temporary street course.
Before the green flag drops, here are some the headlines from the first two days of on-track action.
Session Recaps and Drivers to Watch
On Friday, Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud led the way in the second 45-minute practice session. Yesterday, he backed that performance up by pacing the third and final practice session. Later that afternoon, Pagenaud earned his second pole in the last three years at Toronto.
In the four races winning the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis and winning the Indianapolis 500 from the pole in May, Pagenaud has yet to record a Top Five.
By winning the pole, Pagenaud also eclipsed his previous best start on a road course in 2019. Prior to this, his best was a fifth-place qualifying effort at Long Beach in April.
While Pagenaud looks to improve upon his runner-up finish in last year’s race, he starts alongside Scott Dixon. In 2018, Dixon bested Pagenaud to win at Exhibition Place for the third time.
Six years ago, Dixon won both races of the first doubleheader at the track. With a win today, Dixon would be the first driver since Michael Andretti (2000-01) to win in consecutive years. On Friday, Dixon started off his quest for a repeat by posting the fastest time in opening practice.
Earlier today, Dixon’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist continued a strong weekend by posting the fastest time in the final warmup. In the race, the rookie will start third as he looks to repeat the success of his 2016 Indy Lights sweep at the track.
Aside from Pagenaud and Dixon, several other drivers posted noteworthy performances. Ed Carpenter Racing’s Ed Jones posted the fastest time in Group 2 of Round 1 qualifying and starts sixth. Just missing out on the Fast Six, Marco Andretti will start seventh, his best so far in 2019.
Now, here’s more info on today’s race.
Race Day Info
This afternoon, The Honda Indy Toronto race broadcast will begin with pre-race coverage at 3:00 PM Eastern on NBCSN. At 3:38 pm, Robert Wickens will give the command to start engines.
During the pace laps, Wickens will be on track in a modified Acura NSX. This will be his first time driving since his accident at Pocono Raceway in August of 2018.
The expected green flag time is at 3:42 PM Eastern.
Timing and scoring, as well as commentary from the IndyCar Radio Network, can be found by visiting RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Radio coverage can also be found on Sirius 219 and XM 202.
Additionally, look for information on tire strategies courtesy of Firestone here. Starting tire choices are listed in the starting grid linked above.
During today’s on-track action, join us on Twitter as well. We will be online during the day with insight on all the latest developments.
This weekend, Open-Wheels has Jesse Elliott at the Honda Indy Toronto providing us with photography. Check out his galleries from Friday and Saturday. Also, look for a post-race gallery filled with his shots from today’s action.
Last, but most importantly, enjoy today’s race and check out Open-Wheels for all the post-race recap.
Header image by Jesse Elliott/Open-Wheels