Simon Pagenaud celebrates with Champagne after his win at the Honda Indy Toronto

Track Talk: 2019 Honda Indy Toronto Review

They came, they saw, they raced hard. #TrackTalk reviews the 2019 Honda Indy Toronto.

The chase for the Astor Cup heats up: Josef Newgarden came into, and will leave Toronto, the points leader. With drivers placed second to fourth in points all over his tail, Newgarden probably would have settled for having championship rivals Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, and Scott Dixon finish somewhere behind him. Not the case as Pagenaud took pole, led the most laps, and absolutely dominated on his way to the win. The rest of the podium? Dixon followed by Rossi. Rossi has closed the gap to within four points of Newgarden, and if Pagenaud can keep the momentum then he’ll almost be up there within two races.

Don’t count Newgarden out: It’s strange to call fourth place a bad day, but it illustrates how close the competition is in the NTT IndyCar series. If history means anything, then the remainder of season should play into his hands. Six races remain, with Newgarden the past winner at three of them (Iowa, Mid-Ohio, and Gateway). He’ll need to repeat some of that magic if he wants to create a buffer between himself and his rivals.

Don’t count Dixon out: The five-time champ has a longstanding tradition of picking off wins later in the season. While Newgarden might have the edge given the aforementioned, Dixon has a history of both winning and consistent finishes in the back half of the season. Second place in Toronto was a good start.

Drivers claw through the field: Pagenaud might have run away with the race, but at the back of the field hometown hero James Hinchcliffe climbed eight spots from 14th to finish sixth. He was bested only by Colton Herta, who was by far the biggest mover making up nine spots to finish seventh after starting 16th.

The one-man silly season: For the most part the 2020 IndyCar series grid should look relatively the same with few drivers currently in a contract year. The one driver everyone has their eyes on? Alexander Rossi. Will he or won’t he re-sign for Andretti Autosport? has an update on the 2016 Indy 500 champ’s options.

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