TORONTO – Mike Conway was able to play tire strategy perfectly by switching to the dry racing slicks at the right time.
That move allowed him to score his second Verizon IndyCar Series victory of the season – the fourth of his career – in Race 2 of Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O.
Conway was able hold off a charging Tony Kanaan over the final 2 minutes, 27 seconds of the race that became a timed event because of rain during the contest.
Conway finished 3.5418-second ahead of Kanaan. Team Penske’s Will Power finished third and Charlie Kimball fourth as Chevrolet’s swept the top four positions.
Takuma Sato was the highest-finishing Honda in fifth place.
Conway called for racing slicks or dry tires while the track was still damp on lap 43 when he pitted for four “Red” tires and fuel. That move allowed him the extra speed to leapfrog its way back into contention to end a whacky weekend for IndyCar in Toronto.
“It was just a case of the track condition, drying in places – it was more dry down in turn one, down the back straight but the rest of it, there were patches forming,” Conway said of the drying course. “I knew how humid it was and the temperature it was going to dry pretty quick after that point because it normally gets greasy and then you start to see lines and as you saw within a few laps, running on slicks, the lines were opening up everywhere.
“So I knew I had to make a call at that moment because the wet guys were coming off and they were only going to go slower. So it worked out really well.”
The second race of the day featured a standing start and once again, it went off with a hitch as Justin Wilson stalled on the frontstretch. Further up the course Kanaan ran off course in turn three and stalled the car for a full-course yellow.
Castroneves was up front when the green flag waved on lap four and racing continued until a big crash on lap 12 that began when Toronto’s own James Hinchcliffe clipped Juan Pablo Montoya, who stuffed it into the tire barrier in turn eight. With rain beginning to fall Russia’s Mikhail Aleshin slid into the back of Montoya’s Chevrolet, lifting it off the ground and landing on top of Aleshin’s helmet.
“I realized that only when I started to brake in turn eight and I just smacked the car and ended up under the car and that was not such a great feeling at all,” Aleshin said. “So I’m sorry for my spectators and all the guys who support me but that’s life and the most important thing is everything is fine and I was not hurt. You can see by looking at the helmet I have some marks on the helmet and it was not nice at all because I was sitting under the car. It was getting so hot from this car I couldn’t breathe at all because the car is very hot so I was just sitting under this car and it was impossible to breathe.
“Not a nice feeling at all.”