New­gar­den races to sec­ond Toronto IndyCar vic­tory

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Josef New­gar­den had some fun at home­town star James Hinch­cliffe’s ex­pense in the Honda Indy Toronto. “I love beat­ing Hinch in Canada,” New­gar­den said. New­gar­den raced to his sec­ond Toronto vic­tory in three years Sun­day, dom­i­nat­ing on the streets sur­round­ing Ex­hi­bi­tion Place. Hinch­cliffe was third be­hind Alexan­der Rossi.

“I love Hinch. He’s a great rep­re­sen­ta­tive, but this is so good,” New­gar­den said. New­gar­den came out in front on Lap 25 af­ter a crash by Tony Kanaan caused a cau­tion and main­tained an ad­van­tage of over two sec­onds for the ma­jor­ity of the rest of the race. The 26year-old Ten­nessee driver has five ca­reer vic­to­ries, also win­ning in Alabama in April. He gave Team Penske its 193rd vic­tory, the most of any team. “I think that is twice I have had good calls and got into the pits at the right time,” New­gar­den said. “Thank you to the guys and thank you to Tim (Cin­dric) for mak­ing that call. We got it right, but it was all about man­ag­ing the race af­ter that. I thought we had a very fast car, we got a pretty good start, and stayed out of the may­hem. Very, very happy for all of Team Penske.”

Rossi had his first podium fin­ish of the year and best re­sult since win­ning the 2016 Indianapolis 500. “It’s been a long time com­ing, look­ing for that first podium and hope­fully it can be a foun­da­tion to go into more wins,” Rossi said. “At least we fi­nally kind of got the mon­key off our back. It was a huge turn around overnight by An­dretti Au­tosport to get this car to where it needed to be.” Hinch­cliffe was third for the sec­ond straight year.

“We were catch­ing Alex and Josef 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.” Marco An­dretti was fourth, fol­lowed by Simon Pa­ge­naud, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Max Chilton, He­lio Cas­tron­eves, Gra­ham Ra­hal and se­ries leader Scott Dixon. Dixon has a three­p­oint lead over Cas­tron­eves with five races left. Kanaan had his brakes lock up while leav­ing the pits and con­nected with the pro­tec­tive tires in Turn 1. The cau­tion caused the topthree cars of Cas­tron­eves, Pa­ge­naud and Ra­hal to fall back. Thun­der­show­ers were a threat through­out the race but held off. It started out sunny and hu­mid, then clouded over dur­ing the event and it rained lightly at a few points.

New­gar­den said the weather threat and pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing to switch to a dif­fer­ent set of tires was an added stress. “I was con­cerned about that and how it would throw a wrench into the works,” New­gar­den said. “If it starts rain­ing when I’m on the wrong end of the track, then that wouldn’t be very good.”

Este­ban Gu­tier­rez, the rookie who crashed late in qual­i­fy­ing Satur­day, was cleared to race af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­cus­sion-like symp­toms. He fin­ished 14th. — AP

TORONTO: Josef New­gar­den lifts a tro­phy on the podium af­ter win­ning the Honda Indy Toronto in Toronto on Sun­day. —AP

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