The IndyCar Series returns to Toronto after a brief hiatus and the Honda Indy Toronto odds favor up to five drivers to win the checkered flag. It’s been three years since Simon Pagenaud won the Grand Prix and he’s a dark horse at best. Josef Newgarden is in a three-way tie with Patricio “Pato” O’Ward and Alex Palou while Colton Herta and three-time winner Will Power are next.
2022 Grand Prix of Toronto Information
- Race: Grand Prix of Toronto
- Location: Exhibition Place, Toronto, Canada
- Television: NBC/Peacock
Is Newgarden the Driver to Beat?
Newgarden may be tied with O’Ward and Palou, but he may be the driver to beat this Sunday. The two-time IndyCar Series Champion has won Toronto twice: In 2015 and 2017. He is currently third in the 2022 driver standings but has the most first-place finishes with three. His team, Team Penske, could also be the favored team here.
Team Penske has captured Toronto in three of the last four races here. They sit behind Chip Ganassi Racing in the entrant standings thanks to Marcus Ericsson (+1200 to win Toronto), who won the Indianapolis 500 this season. But with Team Penske, you have both Newgarden and Power as contenders. The pair have combined to win five times at the Exhibition Place.
Power is second in the driver standings sitting just 20 points behind Ericsson. He’s finished in the top five in all but two races this year and has finished in the top five in Toronto four times since 2009. As for the other IndyCar race odds’ favorites, O’Ward and Palou will race in the “6ix” for the first time. They’re fifth and fourth in the standings though have only combined to win one race this season.
Pole Position up For Grabs… Again
We could be in for a historic tenth different pole leader heading to Sunday. So far, each race has produced a different pole leader from Scott McLaughlin in St. Petersburg to Pato O’Ward in Mid-Ohio last Saturday, however, pole leaders may consider it a “curse” as only McLaughlin has finished as the winner.
Pagenaud won in 2019 as the pole leader, which is the only time it’s happened since 2014 when Sebastien Bourdais tied for first with Mike Conway in a shortened race. Newgarden won in 2015 and 2017 despite being 11th and seventh in the qualifiers, respectively.
If you bet on IndyCar races, it may be a sound strategy to fade the pole winner, however, in McLaughlin’s case, he’s entering Toronto on the heels of a win in Mid-Ohio. He’s been a “boom or bust” type of racer as he has three podium finishes but has also finished outside of the top five for the other races.
Dixon Leads “Dark Horse” Drivers
At 41 years of age, the Kiwi “has still got it.” Dixon has yet to win a race this year but he has been in the thick of things. He led the Indy 500 for the most part and has finished in the top ten in the last three races. He’s won in Toronto three times with the most recent coming in 2018. The Honda Indy Toronto odds have him just outside the favorites at 10-1, tied with McLaughlin.
Other than Dixon, Pagenaud could also be worth a shot at 20-1 on the betting lines. The Frenchman is the defending champion in Toronto and he finished as the runner-up in the Indy500. He’s likely an also-ran this season but the 2016 IndyCar Series Champion may come alive in the Exhibition Place, a track where he has finished in the top five in his last three visits albeit with a different team.
As for the local favorites, rookie Devlin DeFrancesco and Dalton Kellett are longshots to win at best. DeFrancesco is at the bottom of the Honda Indy Toronto odds table at 150-1. Kellett is not even listed. A Canadian has not won in Toronto since 2003 when Paul Tracy won.Follow us on Twitter