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POWER SCORES ANOTHER WIN AT HONDA INDY TORONTO

By Amy Konrath
TORONTO (Sunday, July 18, 2010) – Will Power claimed his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series win of 2010, taking the Honda Indy Toronto, after overtaking polesitter Justin Wilson on a late-race restart.

Wilson looked to be on his way to victory with 20 laps left in the 85-lap event on theExhibition Place street circuit. But Will Power overtook Wilson on Lap 72 of a restart on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn circuit and went on to a 1.7-second victory over Dario Franchitti.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was third, Andretti Autorsport teammate Tony Kanaan finished fourth and Graham Rahal – making his season debut with Newman/Haas Racing — was fifth. Danica Patrick finished sixth – the same as last year.

Also on July 18, J.K. Vernay pulled away from the field over the final 10 laps to win the Toronto 100. It was the fourth win of 2010 for the French rookie, who has led the Firestone Indy Lights point standings since the start of the season.

Dan Clarke, driving the No. 40 Wasteco Deans Knight Special, was second (his best finish of the season) and Gustavo Yacaman finished third (also a season best) in the No. 10 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing entry.

DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:

TORONTO 100 POST-RACE NOTES:

•This is the fourth career Firestone Indy Lights victory for series rookie J.K. Vernay. He also won the first two races of this season, at St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park and at Watkins Glen earlier this month.

•Series points leader J.K. Vernay has led laps in four races this season – St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park, Watkins Glen and Toronto. He won all four races.

•Winner J.K. Vernay recorded his six top-three finish in seven starts this season. His only result off the podium came in May in the Firestone Freedom 100 at Indianapolis, where he finished 13th.

•James Hinchcliffe failed to finish in the top five for the first time since the season opener at St. Petersburg, in which he was involved in a first-turn accident after starting from the pole.

•This is the first career podium finish for both Dan Clarke and Gustavo Yacaman. Clarke’s previous best was fourth place at Indianapolis earlier this year. Yacaman’s previous best finish was 4th at Milwaukee in 2009.

TORONTO 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:

J.K. VERNAY (No. 7 Lucas/CJ/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, winner Toronto 100): “The beginning of the race is very difficult because in the first corner, the inside part of the track was very slippery. I touched James. I didn’t want to do that but I had no choice. After that, my front left suspension was a bit broken. It was really difficult. I had to change my driving style to manage my tire. When my engineer told me ten laps to go, I knew I would be OK. I just wanted to push and make a big gap. I saw James crash on the last lap. I feel sorry for him but I can’t say it’s not a good thing for me in the championship.”

DAN CLARKE (No. 40 Wasteco Deans Knight Special, finished second): “It is great to be on the podium again. I would have been happy with third after the year we’ve had. I’ve never actually finished in my previous races at Toronto. I was going to happy with third. I got a good run on Hinchcliffe on the back straight of the last lap. It was the closet I had ever been to him and I knew I could get him then. He kept it high in the breaking zone and I thought, fair enough, I have it. Then he just slid on. I know how it feels to do that. But I’m very happy for Walker Racing. We’re going to celebrate now.”

GUSTAVO YACAMAN (No. 10 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, finished third): “This is my maiden podium, we really were struggling at the beginning of the year, it’s a new car, new team but we did a great job this weekend. Everyone on the team worked together and succeeded as a team which that is the way to go. This race is really challenging, it’s a really long race and physically really challenging. You’re just bouncing off of every wall and so close to them. I’ve never been closer to the wall in my life before, not even on an oval. But I’m just really excited, the car was really good and the guys just did an overall awesome job.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 26 Levemir FlexPen, finished fourth): “That was a lot of fun. It was a really long, hard, hot race. The #26 Levemir car was good from green to checkered. I could fight all day; I could have gone another 10-15 laps for sure. The car was only getting better. All the credit goes to the AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport guys. Except for a mechanical issue during qualifying, we were in the top five all weekend. On to Edmonton and, if not a win, definitely a podium finish.”

STEFAN WILSON (No. 28 Bryan Herta Autosport, finished fifth): ” It was a great race. It was difficult weekend for the number 28. We had been set up and were struggling to find the right direction to go all weekend. We qualified badly, ended up p10 but we worked really hard every day to try and improve the car and I think it paid off, we had a really fast car out there. I’m really pleased with the performance this weekend. The race was a little difficult; I made a mistake and went down the run-off barrier and had to spin the car around so I dropped at least 40 seconds to the leaders then had to work so hard to get back up with them.”

MARTIN PLOWMAN (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers/KEP Printing): “This was my worst finish in this season, but it was probably one of the best races I’ve run in the last two years. I lost a wing on lap 2 but my team did a fantastic job to get me back out there. I stayed on the lead lap, and didn’t lose a lap after that. I think I had the fastest car out there, I had quite a few good passes, and then when that full course yellow came out it was great because that allowed me to bunch up to the rest of the field. I made a few more passes on the restart and overall it was a fantastic way to end a bad start. I want to thank IZOD and everybody that was involved, because this is easily one of my favorite events of the year.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 29 William Rast/Bryan Herta Autosport, finished 14th): “It’s very disappointing, coming from last year which was such a victory for me, then coming to this year which is such a disappointment for me. It’s hard for us and hard for the points. We were looking forward to the championship but we’ll keep fighting with several races to go.”

HONDA INDY TORONTO POST-RACE NOTES:

• This is Will Power’s fourth win of the season. He previously won at Sao Paulo, St. Petersburg and Watkins Glen.

• Power has won back-to-back races twice this season (Sao Paulo – St. Petersburg, Watkins Glen-Toronto)

• This is Team Penske’s 41st win in the IZOD IndyCar Series, further extending a record for most wins by a team.

• 2010 race winner Dario Franchitti finished second, his fifth podium finish of the 2010 season.

• Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third, his sixth top-ten finish of the season.

• Tony Kanaan finished fourth, his best finish on a road/street circuit this season.

• Graham Rahal, in his first race of the season with Newman/Haas Racing, finished fifth, a season best finish. Rahal’s previous best finish this season was ninth at St. Petersburg and Iowa.

• Danica Patrick finished sixth, her best finish on a road/street circuit this season. Her previous best road/street finish was seventh at St. Petersburg.

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, winner Honda Indy Toronto): “I’m just really happy to be in the Verizon car.” (About his start going from 2nd to 6th): “I saw Ryan and Helio going for a big move and I didn’t want to be taken out so I just said well that’s enough and got out of the way. It’s such a wild race that a lot of stuff plays out.” (About restart on lap 71): “I knew just from the marbles and the pick -up that the restart was going to be really slippery. I saw him make a mistake coming off the straight so I got a run on him and pulled it off.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 02 NHR/Quick Trim): “It feels really good to be back with Newman/Haas Racing and finish fifth with Quick Trim on board. A top-five finish is a great way to start off and move forward. The guys worked really hard this weekend. When we showed up the car wasn’t close. In the race it was a lot better. It will be great going to my home race next at Mid-Ohio coming off of some momentum like this. The car was only put together Monday and left Tuesday afternoon without an engine. For us to throw this together and be as successful as we have been in the first outing hopefully means it will only get better from here. It’s definitely comforting to come back. When I sat in the car for the first time it was really good. I was right at home just with different colors on the car. Literally, I came here and just jumped in the car. The seatbelts fit; the mirrors were right. It was almost too good. Even on a normal weekend you have to adjust something so that was great. (About contact with Ryan Briscoe): “I was a lot quicker than Ryan and I had a really good run down the back straight. I got on Push to Pass right out of the corner and he just blocked me. He blocked me all the way into the braking zone and he broke on the inside and I wasn’t expecting him too so I just punted him. He was against the wall and I was waiting for him to move out. Then he hit the brakes before he ever moved. That’s what happened and I hate hitting anybody; that’s not my style. But seriously, if you’ve got a run on someone like that and they’re blocking you, that’s what’s going to happen.”

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic): “At one point in the race I was quite happy but when we changed to option tires on the first stop, it was very hard to get up to speed on restarts so I gave up a lot of positions there. We’re going to look at our tire pressures and temperature to understand that. I was only able to pass one car. It was a very tough race but we came back in one piece which is important for the quick turnaround for Edmonton. Graham’s fifth place finish is very good news for the team. I can also check his data for his restarts and any changes he made to his car during the race which will be good information to have for our next run.”

MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 34 Conquest Racing): “It was a very unlucky day. We had decent speed on the warm up and the car was good in the race. We had a problem in the first pit stop, but I think we had very good chances to recover because of all the accidents in the end. We were still very competitive but I don’t know what Mario was thinking when he did that move, as he was more than five cars length behind me so I think he just missed his brakes and took me out. It is a shame and I sorry for my guys, as we were having our best weekend so far and I am truly ashamed that we couldn’t finish our race here so now we have to think about Edmonton and hopefully it will get better there.”

BERTRAND BAGUETTE (No. 36 Conquest Racing/RACB): “It was quite a disappointing race for me. I did a good start and at the first stint I was P12 or 13, and then we missed a little bit on our first pit stop and I went to P17. Scheckter was behind me and he tried to attack me few times and at the last time I tried to brake later to keep him behind but it was obviously too late and I just hit the tires and had to stop there and wait for the marshalls to push be back and restart the car, so I lost one lap due to that. I was my mistake and it could be a race where we could finish P9, so now we are going to focus on Edmonton next week”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): “It was another long day for the Venom car. We just didn’t have it today. It really came down to an attrition race and I think that has a lot to do with where we finished. But, that said, it was nice to see all four Andretti (Autosport) cars finish inside the top eight.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): “We did a great job today we what we had. The guys had great stops and we, unfortunately, benefited from people’s mistakes, but that’s just the race. I’ve made some mistakes in the past that has cost me the race, but all in all, not bad.”

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Air Wick): “Our Airwick car today was pretty good. It was all just about track position; I had to pit a lap early so Justin and Will jumped up ahead when they went a lap longer. This week we just didn’t run quite quick enough, we were fast in practice, but wasn’t quite fast enough to beat Will in the race. Just wasn’t to thank my guys cause they did a great job, and here we are in second.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Team IZOD): “We had a pretty tough pit stop, but I think a lot of people had a hard time, with the track and with marbles and everything. It was like qualifying the whole time. With all the chaos and all the yellows that was going on it I almost lost it four or five times. But it was a great finish for Andretti Autosport, it’s a great team and I’m just happy to race with this fresh outlook for the rest of the season and everything. It’s looking good from so we’ll just keep plugging away.”

DAN WHELDON, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing: “t was disappointing that I made a mistake and didn’t get a great start; I was on the inside going into Turn One quite deep and then the field bottled up and I made contact. That was my fault, but then the entire National Guard Panther Racing team made a comeback and made a big improvement here compared to last year. We all just continued to get better as this weekend went on and learned a lot of things that are really going to help us moving forward.”

VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): “Crazy race! Considering where we started, we got the position where we finished by being smart. The ABC Supply team did a very good strategy—couldn’t be better. The pit stops were good and the car was picking up lap by lap but the incident with Simona killed my front tires. We were faster than the cars around me but on the restart, I got a good run off two and tried to make a move on her but it was hectic under braking to turn three. Everyone started to brake early and she braked early and I had nowhere to go so I had to lock it up and hope for the best. We crashed there but got away lucky cause she stopped me from going straight off. But it killed my front tires and that’s how we lost our top-10 position in the last three laps. But the team did a very good job on the pitstops and strategy.”

EJ VISO (No. 8 PDVSA – Jet Aviation -KV Racing Technology): “I got hit by (Dan) Wheldon in Turn 3 at the start and dropped several positions. But our pace was then good and I thought our car was coming along very well. Our strategy was good too. We were getting into position to move up in the race. I was racing closely with Tag (Alex Tagliani) and (Raphael) Matos. Tag took Matos wide and couldn’t avoid clipping Matos’ wheel. He spun and I got hit. We changed the rear wing and I went back out to at least finish today. It wasn’t what we wanted but we got to the checkered flag. I thought our pace with No. 8 PDVSA car was pretty good. We’ll get ready for Edmonton now.”

PAUL TRACY ( No. 15 Make A Wish – KV Racing Technology): “I think we could have been a top seven or eight, but several things didn’t fall our way. We struggled the first little bit with the handling. The car seemed to come alive at the end. My pace was as fast as the leaders and I was pretty happy with that. The yellow flags hurt us in the end. We want the first one and then get some green flag laps to get a little space for our second pit stop. But the three yellow flags put us in a bad position for our strategy. We felt we could run with the leaders if we got a break. We led some laps and got some good air time for Make-A-Wish, Honda Canada and Motegi Wheels. We had to deal with too much traffic after the first stop, and I tried to dive under Simona (de Silvestro) in turn three. The rear end got loose and I stalled. That put us back a lap. Then at the end, the car was quick. I learned a couple of things in driving the car today that help with the handling. I just wish we could have qualified better. But we learned some things today and we’ll get better for Edmonton next week. This was a great week back home with all of the appearances for Make A Wish and Honda Canada. I was hoping for a better finish though.”

MARIO MORAES (No. 32 KV Racing Technology): “I think we should turn the page on this weekend. It was tough for our KV Racing team. We can look forward to the Edmonton race. I feel badly for (Takuma) Sato. I wasn’t expecting him to be in that spot on the track. He was in my blind line and it was similar to Helio (Castroneves) and PT (Paul Tracy) last year. So the two cars came together. Later in the race, the car felt pretty good but we need to get ready to improve for Edmonton. We just need to forget about this weekend now.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske): “It’s very sad. We had an awesome car and I think we could’ve fought for the win. (Meira) just broke very early going into the turn and I just didn’t anticipate that. It’s really too bad. The Team Penske crew had a great pit stop and we were looking strong. We’ll regroup and come back with a better result next week at Edmonton.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): I made a bit of a bobble coming out of Turn 1. The cars in front of me were kind of messing round, they missed it a little bit. I followed a bit too hard and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) had a bit of a run. I held my typically line, moved over to the left, and he dove under. I had to go somewhere. He was just carrying way too much speed and hit the front of my car and put us in the tires. Before that, the car was pretty quick. We had troubles early on in the race but we definitely came back. Thought we could have had a shot at fourth or fifth but it didn’t work out.

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske): “That was just really unfortunate to be taken out by a non-championship contender. The Team Penske car was definitely capable of a top-five finish today and we lost a lot of valuable championship points. We were able to finish, but now we’ll just have to put our heads down and get to work next weekend in Edmonton.”

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com): “It’s a great confidence-booster not only for me, but the whole #7 GoDaddy.com team. It’s the best finish we’ve had on a street course this season. We were really happy with the way the car was performing throughout the whole race. This is a good way to end a great weekend since we head to another road course next week in Edmonton. Overall, we were strong as a team with the four of us in the top 10.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Lotus – KV Racing Technology): “It was an exciting start and I was able to battle with other drivers and gain a few places. Then I was following my teammate (Mario) Moraes. I caught up very rapidly on him out of turn two and pulled alongside of him on the back straight. We went into the braking area in turn three, but I guess he didn’t see me out there and made contact which unfortunately ended my race. It is so disappointing.”

***

The Next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Honda Indy Edmonton on July 25 at Edmonton City Centre Airport. The race will be televised by VERSUS at 5 p.m. (EDT). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Edmonton 100 on July 25 at Edmonton City Centre Airport.

IZOD IndyCar Series
Honda Indy Toronto
TORONTO – Results Sunday of the Honda Indy Toronto IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.755-mile Streets of Toronto circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (2) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
2. (5) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
3. (4) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
4. (8) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
5. (14) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
6. (12) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
7. (1) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
8. (10) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
9. (21) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
10. (15) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
11. (26) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
12. (22) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running
13. (24) Paul Tracy, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running
14. (20) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running
15. (19) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running
16. (16) Bertrand Baguette, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running
17. (9) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running
18. (7) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 83, Running
19. (13) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running

20. (6) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 71, Contact
21. (11) Raphael Matos, Dallara-Honda, 64, Contact

22. (17) Mario Romancini, Dallara-Honda, 31, Contact

23. (23) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 26, Contact

24. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 21, Contact

25. (18) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 15, Contact
26. (25) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 8, Handling


Race Statistics
Winners average speed: 83.451
Time of Race: 01:47:15.2554
Margin of victory: 1.2757 seconds
Cautions: 6 for 21 laps
Lead changes: 6 among 5 drivers
Lap Leaders: Wilson 1-17, Tracy 18-31 Franchitti 32-53, Power 54, Kanaan 55-56, Wilson 57-71, Power 72-85.
Point Standings: Power 377, Franchitti 335, Dixon 299, Briscoe 292, Hunter-Reay 286, Castroneves 285, Kanaan 273, Wilson 240, Wheldon 233, Andretti 225.