Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske, and Chevrolet walked away winners from the 2019 Honda Indy from the streets of downtown Toronto, with the Frenchman putting on a dominant display to hold off championship rivals Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi.
Pagenaud started from pole and led 80 of the race’s 85 laps, only giving up the lead under the pit stop sequences. He held off an attempted pass from Dixon on Lap 1 and extended his gap to nearly 10 seconds over the course of the race, but Dixon was able to close in on the Penske-Chevrolet in the final laps after Pagenaud encountered lapped traffic.
As the Chip Ganassi Racing Honda started to bear down on Pagenaud on the final lap, the yellow came out for Will Power, who managed to nose his No. 12 Chevrolet into the barriers at Turn 8. This prevented any potential attack from Dixon and caused the race to finish under yellow. Power was classified 18th overall.
“I’m very proud to fly the French flag here in a cousin country, which is Canada,” said Pagenaud, who took his third win this season on the Ontario track. “I guess (Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe) is leading the Tour de France today on the bike. I felt like I had to do the same.”
“We took off and the car handled really well,” the 2019 Indy 500 winner added. “We definitely had an advantage on the tire wear. I knew we had a really good race car. We were able to match the Honda power pretty well; helped us to perform even better, so thanks to Chevy.”
Dixon kept Pagenaud honest for the majority of the race, but was never able to truly challenge for the lead due to a suspension problem that resulted from an error early on.
“I made a mistake, a pretty big mistake, probably around Lap 12 or 15 where I hit the inside wall on (Turn) 9,” Dixon said. “Bent the suspension pretty bad. I thought I had a (tire) puncture.”
Hometown hero James Hinchcliffe also put on a good show for the Toronto crowd, moving up eight positions to finish sixth overall – making him the biggest mover of the race.
Click here for full results from the 2019 Honda Indy. IndyCar heads to corn country next for the Iowa 300.