Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden in the No.1 Hitachi Chevrolet will start today’s Homda Indy Toronto from pole position having set a fastest lap of 59.4956s and speaking following the session he said:
“I thought I steered us in the wrong direction for a moment. We went out a little later, which to me, I thought if we could keep the minimum amount of laps on the tires, the better. The risk is if it starts raining heavier during the session, then that’s the wrong choice because you need to be out there early getting a lap. But fortunately, it started drying up toward the end. In the middle, I thought I made the wrong decision because it was raining more intensely. And then those last two laps, it just got progressively better and I knew that last lap was going to be the one to nail it. And the car has been incredible this weekend. The Hitachi car has been fast. We haven’t had to do too much. We started a little bit slow, but then found our rhythm this morning. The guys did a great job. The team has been working well together. We got all three of us (Team Penske drivers) in the (Firestone) Fast Six, so that’s all you can ask for, I think, on a day like today. And so now we go to tomorrow and focus on the race.”
Series points leader Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing starts the race from second place and speaking following the session he said:
I’m a bit disappointed and pissed at myself for not putting the PNC Bank car on pole position. I feel bad for my team as well, as they gave me a car capable of doing it. I made a mistake in Turn 5 and that cost me a few tenths. All in all, it’s not terrible starting on the front row, but when you know you had one and then let it get away, it hurts a little bit.”
Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet starts the race from third place just ahead of his team mate Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet.
Alexander Rossi startd the race from fifth place in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda and speaking following the session he said:
“Pretty disappointed, really. I think the first session we were competitive. We were in the wet. We were out there with Scott (Dixon), and it was a pretty easy job to kind of do that lap and transfer. The second round was completely dry, and we weren’t mega, but we were kind of on a conservative setup still. We felt pretty confident in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS car going into Round 3. It started to rain a little bit again, but it didn’t completely take away the track from us and just didn’t have the pace for some reason. We were a second — me and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) were a second off of the front row. Very disappointing. I thought we had a car to fight for pole, especially after this morning, so row three is not great.”
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda ended the session in sixth place and speaking following the session he said:
We’re just trying to make the car better and find the balance that I need out of it, but it’s so easy to touch a wall here and there. We got it closer today in the dry (qualifying) session when we were P2, but we just didn’t have it with a little bit of moisture and we were sliding around too much. We just have to pick up and make a good race car from here.”
Takuma Sato in the No.30 MiJack Panasonic Honda starts the race from seventh place just ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Jordan King.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda starts his home race from ninth and speaking following the session thr Mayor of HinchTown commented by sayong:
“That last lap was everything we had. I made that mistake out of Turn 8 the lap before, which first lap on those sticker (tires), is usually the best. Who knows what that lap could have been… The lap after, we were kind of building on that and we got thrown a curveball, so that’s my fault. The Arrow Electronics car was getting better every session and the rain and these conditions kind of threw us for a loop. It’s a shame. I think if we hadn’t had that spin, we might have been able to transfer into the Firestone Fast Six. Proud of the SPM guys – it’s been a bit of a struggle this weekend. We’re keeping our heads honest. We can race from here and try to give the hometown fans a good result.”
Robert Wickens in the No.6 Lucas Oil Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rounded out the top ten. Speaking ahead of his home race the Canadian said:
“We ended up switching the Lucas Oil car back to a dry car setup before qualifying. I think being in Group 2 is a bit of a handicap because everyone in Group 1 didn’t end up using any alternates and were quicker in Round 2 with that leftover set of reds (Firestone alternate tires). We were the only car that went out there on blacks (Firestone primary tires) on the first run and it started raining. We maybe went a little too early on to the reds to make sure we could get a red lap in for the Firestone Fast Six, but it wasn’t enough today. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m just looking forward to putting the helmet back on and racing in front of the hometown crowd.”
It was a great day for Harding Racing’s Conor Daly as he starts the race from 11th place and speaking following the session he said:
Well today was great. We saw some improvements in P3, but we just got balked on our fastest lap there. To go out on the rain tires that I’ve never driven on either, and it’s a new tire with a whole new situation on the street course, but I love the rain. We had one lap to do it and we did it, so I was over the moon happy. I have to thank Chevy for dialing us in there and all the No. 88 Harding Racing guys because we made improvements every session. We went half a second quicker than we’ve gone in the dry in Q2, so coming out 11th, as well, is just awesome. It’s such a big boost for the weekend because qualifying has always been a struggle of mine for sure, but to come out and do it like that is nice.”
AJ Foyt Racing’s Matheus Matt Leist starts the race from 12th place just ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Rosseau Metal.
Marco Andretti in the No.98 Oberto Honda starts the race from 14th place just ahead of Tony Kanaan in the No.14 ABC Supply Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing.
Spencer Pigot in the No.21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet starts the race from 16th place just ahead of Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 Honda.
Max Chilton in the No.59 Gallagher Chevrolet starts the race from 18th place just ahead of Juncos Racing’s Rene Binder.
Charlie Kimball in the No.23 Novo Nordisk Diabetes Canada Chevrolet starts the race from 20th place just ahead of Zach Veach while Zachary Claman DeMelo rounds out the order in 23rd place.