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Newgarden Gets Toronto Win

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 16 2017

Team Penske new guy Josef Newgarden won his second race of the season on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

Josef Newgarden, the newest member of the four-car Team Penske hoard, won Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto IndyCar Series race in Toronto, Canada.

Newgarden, who led the most laps in the event at the 1.786-mile street circuit, finished 1.9 seconds ahead of runner-up Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport.

“I thought we had a very fast car, we got a pretty good start, and stayed out of the mayhem,” Newgarden said.

The victory was the second of the season for Newgarden as he won earlier at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. It gave him his fifth podium of the season.

Rossi seemed more than pleased with his second-place finish in his Honda.

“This finish has been a long time coming,” the winner of the 2016 Indy 500 said. “We had the Indy win, but I’ve been looking for that first podium and hopefully this will be a foundation to go and chase more wins. I’m relieved that we finally kind of got the monkey off our back. It was a huge turnaround overnight by Andretti Autosport to get the car where it needed to be for the race today.

“Qualifying was a huge effort for the whole team. I’m very proud of Honda for the effort they’ve made. As we’ve said, this year has been a huge turnaround. Big shout out to the Toronto fans for coming out to the race. It really is amazing coming here, and hopefully we can carry this momentum on to Mid-Ohio and get a win.”

Canadian James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports finished third on his home track.

“We were catching Alexander (Rossi) and Josef (Newgarden) in that last stint,” Hinchcliffe said. “The car really came alive on the blacks, so big thanks to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, all the guys – great stops – and all the fans in Toronto. I mean the support that we feel each and every year is amazing. You guys are the best. You came even when the weather wasn’t looking awesome and hung out with us and we appreciate it. So thanks to all of you guys. Next year, maybe a couple of spots better.”

Newgarden, driving the No. 2 Chevrolet for Team Penske, arrived in Canada 56 points out of the points lead. His victory Sunday moved him to within 23 points of leader Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing.

He was asked if he thought he could challenge for a championship.

“Yeah, it’s going to be tough,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult beating all of those guys, but I will tell you what, when you have got Chevy power, you have Chevy reliability and Chevy fuel mileage – you feel pretty good about things.  So I feel good about it, but it’s going to be a dogfight to the end.  I think you are just going to have to be conservative, but aggressive at the same time.  You can’t sit back too much but you have to make sure you stay out of incidences.  Hopefully I get a couple more podiums before the end of the year, and we can get it done.”

Will Power of Team Penske started the race fourth in points but failed to finish the first laps as he was involved in a wreck with Dixon.

Dixon suffered a cut tire but came back to finish 10th and on the lead lap to retain his points lead.

(This story will be updated shortly)

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Results Sunday of the Honda Indy Toronto Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.786-mile Streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (7) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running
2. (8) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 85, Running
3. (6) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 85, Running
4. (11) Marco Andretti, Honda, 85, Running
5. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 85, Running
6. (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 85, Running
7. (9) Max Chilton, Honda, 85, Running
8. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 85, Running
9. (2) Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
10. (5) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running
11. (20) Sebastian Saavedra, Honda, 85, Running
12. (17) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 85, Running
13. (12) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 85, Running
14. (21) Esteban Gutierrez, Honda, 85, Running
15. (19) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 85, Running
16. (10) Takuma Sato, Honda, 85, Running
17. (18) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 85, Running
18. (13) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 84, Running
19. (14) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 83, Running
20. (15) Ed Jones, Honda, 75, Mechanical
21. (4) Will Power, Chevrolet, 0, Contact
                                                            
Race Statistics:
Winner’s average speed: 95.790 mph
Time of Race: 1:35:05.3522
Margin of victory: 1.8704 seconds
Cautions: 2 for 9 laps
Lead changes: 4 among 4 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Castroneves 1-24
Newgarden 25-53
Chilton 54
Pagenaud 55-56
Newgarden 57-85

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings:
 Scott Dixon 423, Castroneves 420, Pagenaud 404, Newgarden 400, Power 359, Rahal 359, Sato 351, Rossi 330, Kanaan 306, Hinchcliffe 297.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 16 2017
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