"I knew that we could walk a way forward, but I was surprised at how good we were on that first stint and we could just move our way forward and work our way out to the front," he said. "We started out kind of hanging in there. I could see the other guys were going off around me, kind of hung in there, was picking off people. The car was really strong down into turn three. I could pretty much pass everybody without using the 'push to pass' too much."
Tony Kanaan had benefited from the late cautions to rise back up to fifth place, while the ever-miraculous stealthy Oriol Servia had managed to capture another top five finish of the year without leaving any footprints of how he'd actually pulled it off.
“I had to work a lot," said Kanaan, still unhappy with his drive-thru penalty for hitting pit lane equipment. "But after that, same story. Front to the back, back to the front."
Servia was surprisingly underwhelmed by his fifth place, saying that Sunday "wasn't the most spectacular day" for the team. "Honestly, we just didn't have the speed. I felt a lot better in the practices, but not during the race. We just didn't have the speed."
So how had he made it up so high? "Dennis [Reinbold, team co-owner] has a great strategy. We were able to keep our nose clean. There were a lot of drivers that were not driving that smart out there. It was just a question of letting them make the mistakes."
Meanwhile, Helio Castroneves was rather delighted with his 'mere' sixth place, and thanks to the problems that had hit Power and Briscoe he was the best placed of the three Penske team mates.
"It was very crazy out there today," he beamed. "I think finishing sixth here in Toronto is my best finish so I am pleased with that. This is the first time I have been able to keep my nose clean out here, literally I had no damage on my nose and how things were going today that was good ... I am glad that we were able to stay out of the wrecks and finish like we did."
Panther's JR Hildebrand finished ahead of Dale Coyne Racing's junior driver James Jakes, while Takuma Sato and Alex Tagliani rounded out the highly unlikely top ten - making it ten different teams represented in the top ten positions, a rare if not entirely unique event.
"For me the biggest takeaway is that we got to the point where we had a good car in the race," said Hildebrand. "I think honestly if we had caught the first yellow on the right side we could have had a podium finish."
"Very happy today," said Jakes. "We had a good car at the end of the race and we managed to pick quite a few guys off. A lot of people were saving fuel there so that was good because we were good to go till the end."