Race Weekend Central

2023 IndyCar Honda Indy Toronto Preview

The NTT IndyCar Series visits the beautiful Toronto Exhibition Place for the Honda Indy Toronto. An 11-turn, 1.7 mile street course awaits the IndyCar drivers as they continue their chase of current championship leader Alex Palou.

He holds a staggering 110-point lead and the tight confines of the Toronto circuit, with it’s self-correcting concrete walls, might be one of the last chances for the paddock to try and dig away at his lead. 

Domination

There isn’t much more to say about Palou and his season. It’s historic and surprisingly, enduring. No one has been able to best him since May. Teams have to be on the brink of grinding their teeth at the continual presence of the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Honda out front. But with constant beat downs, comes the insatiable desire by each IndyCar driver to finally push the Spaniard off the top spot of the podium, for at least one weekend. Eyes on the front as the entire field aims in on the target on Palou’s rear gearbox.

And, as Frontstretch‘s own Mike Knapp examined in this week’s edition of Inside IndyCar, even a lead the caliber of Palou’s isn’t cause for relaxation in a series like IndyCar.

See also
Inside IndyCar: Is Alex Palou's Points Lead Safe?

Kirkwood Returns to Street Course Success

The young American Kyle Kirkwood of Andretti Autosport took his maiden IndyCar win at Long Beach earlier in the year. Later, at Detroit he overcame a near disaster when he was rear ended, and ramped, by Callum Ilott. However, he fought back to finish sixth. Lo and behold, Kirkwood knows how to get around street circuits.

The bossman, Michael Andretti, won at this event seven times in his IndyCar career. After a rough midseason stretch, Kirkwood could make up for an inconsistent season for Andretti Autosport, by taking their first win there since 2012.

Job Interview Time

With the news that Meyer Shank Racing driver Simon Pagenaud will miss his second race after a rollover crash at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago, Michael Shank selected his IMSA Weathertech driver Tom Blomqvist to run the car this weekend. This connects with numerous reports that MSR is looking to change up their lineup next year after a unsatisfactory 2023 so far, and Blomqvist, who has European open wheel experience, could be in line to get one of the seats. After Conor Daly filled in at Mid-Ohio and Blomqvist this week, there’s changes brewing in the MSR garage.

Paging Scott Dixon

Six-time champion Scott Dixon is the defending winner of the Honda Indy Toronto but is winless this year. He has two teammates who have led more laps than him, but no one can count out the Kiwi from rearing his head up front and taking his first checkered flag of the year. Can it be this weekend?

He’s jumped to second in the championship race and if anyone can erase a 110-point lead in the standings, it’s Dixon. This just feels like a Dixon-win race, because it’s been too long since he’s done it. So, don’t be shocked when the predictions below put the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Honda in first place. 

See also
The Pit Straight: What Do We Want From Lewis Hamilton & Brad Pitt's F1 Movie?

Frontstretch Predictions

  1. Scott Dixon – It’s time.
  2. Kyle Kirkwood – He has these road courses on easy mode.
  3. Colton Herta

About the author

Tom is an IndyCar writer at Frontstretch, joining in March 2023. He also works full-time for the Department of Veterans Affairs History Office and is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard. A native Hoosier, he's followed IndyCar closely since 1991 and calls Fort Wayne home. Follow Tom on Twitter @TomBlackburn42.

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