Track Talk: #indyTO Preview

track-talk

July 14th, 2017

IndyCar is north of the border in Toronto for the only international race on the schedule. We preview the Honda Indy Toronto in this week’s #TrackTalk.

Can Helio Castroneves make it two-in-a-row? Helio Castroneves will officially be on a winning streak if he can finish 1st in Toronto. Not only that, but depending on where Scott Dixon finishes, he could cross back over the border with the points lead. He’ll have stiff competition from his Penske teammates. He’s never won in Toronto, but finished 2nd last year.

Don’t forget Scott Dixon: We’ve been so busy pulling for Castroneves that it’s easy to forget that Scott Dixon quietly commands the points lead. Not only that, but he’s a two-time winner of the Honda Indy Toronto- sweeping both races during the 2013 double-header weekend. Notwithstanding Gateway Motorsports Park, Dixon has won on every track from Toronto forward on the current IndyCar schedule. Toronto could be the first stop in cementing his 6th IndyCar championship.

One more point about Scott Dixon: Scott Dixon currently sits 4th among all-time Indy car winners with 41 victories. A win in Toronto will move him into a tie for 3rd with Michael Andretti.

Can James Hinchcliffe win at home? After missing the 2015 race due to injury, James Hinchliffe roared his way to a podium finish in front of the hometown crowd last year. He won this year’s Long Beach Grand Prix. Can the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver find success on another street circuit?

Mikhail Aleshin out. Sebastian Saavedra in: Speaking of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, sponsorship issues have sidelined Mikhail Aleshin in Toronto. Sebastian Saavedra, a 5-time starter of the Honda Indy Toronto will replace Aleshin.

Keep an eye on the weather: Mother Nature is calling for rain on Friday, a dry Saturday, and then more rain on Sunday. If we do have a wet race, then Friday’s wet weather practice sessions could be the best indicator of who might win on Sunday.

Track Talk’s picks for the Honda Indy Toronto: I’m going to go with Scott Dixon or Helio Castroneves. Even though they have one win apiece this season, they’ve shown a consistency other race winners haven’t. They’re also some of the best wet-weather drivers in the series. Not far behind will be Will Power and Josef Newgarden.

Victor Genova is the host of the Media People Podcast and a freelance racing writer. You can follow him on Twitter at @VicGenova