15 July 2013
Scott Dixon celebrates a double top in Toronto
Dario Franchitti managed to escape getting caught up in that final fracas and finished in fourth place ahead of EJ Viso, a remarkable outcome considering his first lap disaster and enforced pit stop - although there were grumbles in the paddock that Franchitti had ditched the red-walled tyres after only a single flag lap, where the IndyCar rulebook required that both compounds be used for at least two green flag laps. Race control confirmed that it had signed off on the Ganassi team's ploy under a special provision related to double-header weekends where tyre provision is limited, so there was no question of another traumatic post-race encounter for Franchitti with the stewards to retain his final position.
Franchitti's junior team mate Charlie Kimball had pursued a somewhat less controversial late-stop strategy to finish in sixth place, as had Justin Wilson who came home in eighth. The two cars bracketed Mike Conway, who had driven a quietly brilliant race from the back row of the grid to finish in seventh place by the flag.
"We had a very interesting race today," said Conway. "We started 23rd and were able to work are way up quickly at the start of the race. It was a little strange as we could overtake some cars in certain turns, and then in other turns we would give the spots right back. I'm really interested to see what the data shows from the race.
"We were able to score another top ten finish for the #18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda today," he added. "I am looking forward to being back with the team for the last doubleheader of the season in Houston, but maybe I will be able to be back sooner for Mid-Ohio or Sonoma. Who knows? A big thanks to the entire #18 [team] for giving me another great car this weekend in Toronto."
As for Conway's team mate and compatriot Justin Wilson, he was happy to make it to the finish after sustaining some collisions during the afternoon's frenetic racing.
"We had a good race going as we were picking cars off one by one. I was able to work my way up to sixth before my last pit stop. We put a set of red Firestone tires on, and I thought we could pass a few more cars since the reds come in a lot better,: he recalled. "I had a lapped car that started racing me into turn 1, and then it slid into me, taking my front wing off. Then I got hit in the back of the car, not once, but twice. And they were big hits that did some damage to the rear of the car.
"I was just happy to finish the race, as it was a little crazy out there today," he admitted "It was a long-fought race today, and we were able to get another top ten finish for the #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda. Thanks to the team for a fast car and some great pit stops today." Best of all, it meant that he got to take home an intact trophy from Toronto after all, following his podium fumble after Saturday's race.
Conway had been joined on the back row by the #4 National Guard Panther Racing car after the team was forced to change drivers following the news that Ryan Briscoe had broken his wrist in a late accident in Saturday's race. Firestone Indy Lights championship leader Carlos Munoz did a solid job considering the short notice and kept his nose clean in a solid run to the finish, but was nonetheless a lap off the leaders and the last of the cars still running with the exception of Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe running four laps down.
"It was a long race and a hard race for me," admitted Munoz. "It was basically my first time in an Indy car on a street course, and I didn't know what to expect to be in a race here with so many cars out there.
"We continued to drop lap times and I got more and more comfortable with each lap, and by the end we put together quite a good lap, which are all positive things," he said. "It's good work from the National Guard crew and my goal was to finish, and I finished, and I'm very happy to have this opportunity today."
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