Alexander Rossi on track

Track Talk: 2019 Honda Indy Toronto Preview

Oh Canada! Oh IndyCar! The NTT IndyCar Series heads north of the border for the only international race on the schedule. Track Talk previews the 2019 Honda Indy Toronto.

The chase for the Astor Cup: We are well into the back-half of the season with Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi emerging as the championship favourites. Newgarden is a two-time Honda Indy winner, while Rossi has always qualified and finished strong at Exhibition Place. Looking for an idea how the podium might shake out? Check out the 2017 race results, where Newgarden and Rossi finished first and second respectively.

The underdogs: It’s strange to think of Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, and Will Power as championship underdogs, but that’s where they sit in points as a distant third, fourth, and fifth. Pagenaud has two wins this season, while Dixon took victor in the second Detroit duel. Power is yet to win, but has two pole positions to his name. Both Dixon and Power are three-time Honda Indy Winners.

Sage Karam returns: Sage Karam returns to the IndyCar grid in Toronto. The 2013 Indy Lights champion will be hoping to convert his one-off ride with Carlin into something long-term. With 17 IndyCar starts to his resume, Karam surprisingly has not had a chance to race (an IndyCar) in Toronto. It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve as he tames a new team and track. Not only that, but this is also his first non-oval (IndyCar) race since 2015.

Toronto rookie watch: We’ve detailed quite bit on Track Talk just how competitive this year’s rookie class is. Colton Herta is a race winner, Felix Roseqvist is a pole winner, while Santio Ferrucci snagged Indy 500 rookie of the year honours. Picking exactly which rookie will come out on top is anyone’s guess. Our prediction? Expect Herta to qualify fastest and Rosenqvist to finish highest.

Non-stop track action: This year’s Honda Indy is once again STACKED with on-track action. You’ll come for the IndyCars, but your ticket also gets you the entire Road to Indy ladder series, the Stadium Super Trucks, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada.

Our Honda Indy Picks: We think it’s going to come down to Newgarden and Rossi. Pay close attention to what happens on Saturday, as qualifying could be a strong indicator for success. Fun fact: Five of Rossi’s seven IndyCar series victories have from pole position.


Victor Genova is the host of the Media People Podcast and a freelance racing writer. You can follow him on Instagram at @VicGenova