Danica nets road-course best en route to Miami
Danica Patrick finished sixth in Toronto on Sunday, her best ever road course finish. Patrick will be racing in both NextEra IndyCar Championship Weekend and Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Courtesy Robert LaBerge Getty Images Sport)
Will Power—who will seek his first-ever IndyCar Championship Oct. 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway— drove to his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series win of 2010 at Toronto. It was Race 10 of 17 en route to the Oct. 2 IndyCar Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
With just 92 points separating first-place Power from sixth-place Helio Castroneves, the hunt continues for the 2010 IndyCar Championship, which will be crowned in Miami on Oct. 2. Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned this fall at Homestead-Miami Speedway by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
Danica Patrick finished sixth to equal her best road-course result this season. With her South Florida-based teammates (see sidebar) finishing third (Boca Raton’s Ryan Hunter-Reay), fourth (Key Biscayne’s Tony Kanaan) and eighth (South Beach’s Marco Andretti), all four Andretti Autosport entries finished in the Top 8.
Said Patrick: “It's a great confidence-booster not only for me, but the whole No. 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…."
Motorsports’ first lady will race at Homestead-Miami Speedway during both the IndyCar Championship Weekend (Oct. 2) and NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 20). Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned in Miami this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
Taking advantage of a late-race restart to pass the previously race-dominant Justin Wilson, Power drove a nearly flawless race Sunday on the streets of Toronto. On a day when many of his rivals fell by the wayside or were delayed by spins and crashes, Power made his only mistake of the day early on when he fell from second to sixth in the shuffle through Turn 1.
"The first corner of the first lap could have been the end for me, but I just backed off and gave up a couple of positions instead,” Power said. “Sometimes you just need to keep in mind the big picture."
By mid-race, the three quickest cars on track were Power, Wilson and Dario Franchitti—who claimed the 2009 IndyCar title last fall at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Franchitti led much of the middle stages of the race but was passed by both Wilson and Power during the final round of pit stops on Laps 53-54.
By Lap 60, Wilson had opened up a 3.5-second lead over Power, but the restart on Lap 71 changed everything. Wilson spun his rear tires and Power was quick to capitalize, taking the lead into Turn 1 to hold off Franchitti for the victory. Later that lap, Wilson spun without contact in Turn 8, leading to a disappointing 7th-place finish.
Following Power and Franchitti at the finish were South Florida residents Hunter-Reay and Kanaan.
"The IZOD guys did a great job,” Hunter-Reay said. “I don't recall the last time I had my hands full like that. We salvaged a good points finish today, and that's what counts. This is a great finish for Andretti Autosport. This is a great team, and it's looking good from here."
Patrick, Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Power, Franchitti and the rest of the IndyCar elite will resume the pursuit for fall glory in Miami on Sunday, July 25, at Edmonton—Race 11 of 17 en route to IndyCar Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 2). Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned in South Florida this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
Open It Up: South Florida’s Indy Drivers
For fans of the many South Florida-based IndyCar drivers, the story of Race 10 of 17 en route to IndyCar Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 2) was about survival. While battling for the race lead, South Florida’s Helio Castroneves collided with Miami resident Vitor Meira following a lightning-quick pit stop on Lap 18. The accident ended Castroneves’ day, as he finished 24th in the No. 3 Team Penske machine and now trails points leader Will Power by 92 points. Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned in South Florida this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
"It's very sad," said Castroneves. "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."
With a Top 10 finish in his sights, reigning IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Raphael Matos had his day spoiled when a late race collision left him in the tire barrier and in 21st position. The Miami resident was running 10th and closing in on ninth when he was struck from behind by Alex Tagliani in Turn 5, sending him into the tire barrier with suspension damage.
"I was racing to finish in the Top 10 and collect some points, but unfortunately Alex Tagliani took me out," Matos said. "Marco [Andretti] and Danica [Patrick] slowed down in Turn 5 and Tagliani dive-bombed me. It was unfortunate because the HP car was consistent and the crew was great in the pits."
Speaking of Andretti, Marco’s team owner/father Michael Andretti won this race seven times during his racing career, and the younger Andretti was looking to follow in those footsteps, but it was not to be as Andretti soldiered to an eighth-place finish. Teammate and Key Biscayne resident Tony Kanaan finished fourth.
"It was another long day for the Venom car,” Andretti said. “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 cars finish inside the Top eight."
"It was a great race for the fans,” said Kanaan. “They saw a lot of action. Fans come out here to see cars make passes, and I think we had plenty of those today. For sure, it was one of the hardest races I've run this year. We were basically qualifying from Lap 1 until Lap 85. I would have liked to have had a little faster car, but I had a pretty decent race. I tried to battle a lot of people and had to because it was very competitive out there."
The pursuit for Miami glory remains north of the border on Sunday, July 25, at Edmonton (5:00 p.m. EST on VERSUS, IMS Radio Network, XM Ch. 145, Sirius Ch. 211)—Race 11 of 17 en route to IndyCar Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 2. Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned in South Florida this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
[LIST SOUTH FLORIDA DRIVERS FINISH]
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay
4. Tony Kanaan
8. Marco Andretti
11. Vitor Meira
14. Mario Moraes
19. E.J. Viso
21. Raphael Matos
22. Mario Romancini
24. Helio Castroneves
26. Milka Duno