TORONTO — official release — Chris Jones photo — Mike Conway earned his second Verizon IndyCar Series victory of the season by holding off Tony Kanaan over a three-lap sprint to the finish in the second race of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader.
Conway, driving the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car for Ed Carpenter Racing, won by 3.5418 seconds following a Lap 54 restart after a red flag with 4 minutes, 23 seconds left in the 80-minute race. INDYCAR Race Control called for the red flag to freeze the field on Lap 52 after a multiple-car incident in Turn 3.
Will Power finished third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car and Charlie Kimball advanced 12 positions from his 16th-place starting position in the No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chip Ganassi Racing car to finish fourth. Takuma Sato rebounded from 23rd place in Race 1 to finish a season-high fifth in the No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing entry.
Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Helio Castroneves, the pole sitter as the race lineup for the standing start was determined by entrant points, sustained wing damage on the No. 3 PPG Team Penske car on the penultimate lap and dropped to 12th place. He holds a 13-point lead over Power through 14 of the season’s 18 races.
Conway was the second driver to switch from Firestone rain tires to alternate tires on Lap 43 as the 1.755-mile, 11-turn street circuit was drying following a light rain that started on Lap 12. He was running third after gaining one position on a Lap 49 restart and overtook Justin Wilson and Josef Newgarden – both still on rain tires – for the lead on Lap 50.
“It was really difficult conditions and we were kind of struggling out there for a bit and then I knew as soon as I could see the dry line I knew it was time to come in, and it was a great call,” Conway expressed. “The guys were up for it. I wasn’t sure what they were going to say so from there we just kind of took off and just controlled the race. A bit nervous with the red flag there but I knew with Justin behind me, I knew we would be able to cover it. It was good fun out there.”
“The tire temperatures came in really fast and that’s what you need in those types of conditions, so I could just control it and not have to push too hard and enjoy those last few laps,” said Conway, who had not recorded a top-10 finish since his win at Long Beach on April 13.
Conway, earning his second victory of the season and the third of the season for Ed Carpenter Racing, won the 250th race for Firestone since its return to Indy car racing in 1995.
“Mike said he was ready for drys. This one is all Mike; he did a great job,” said team owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who won at Texas Motor Speedway in June.
Kanaan, who finished third in Race 1 and started ninth in Race 2, brought out a Lap 1 caution when the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car nosed into the tire barrier in Turn 3. He fell to 23rd on the restart.
“I made a little mistake on the start. I got too excited and I had to make it up,” said Kanaan, who had podium finishes in the past three races. “You have to believe. You can’t give up. We’re here racing. I hate when I make mistakes, so I had to make it up.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series will have a weekend off before traveling to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200 on August 3rd. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN and on the IMS Radio Network with coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET.