Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 9/12/14

The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to action after a week off to the 1.75-mile temporary street circuit in the streets of Toronto. Toronto will be the first of five straight non-ovals before the season finale on September 15th at Fontana. The series is coming off of a stretch of four out of five races on ovals before last week's break.

The points battle is thickening as Will Power has struggled on the ovals, and his once-seemingly insurmountable points lead is now down to just three points over back-to-back winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and 15 over third place Scott Dixon. Hunter-Reay will try to join Power as the only two drivers this season to win three straight races as Power did it back in Barber, Long Beach and Brazil.

Power won in Toronto in 2007 with Champ Car and again in 2010 with the IZOD IndyCar Series. He was on the pole last year and will hope to rebuild his points lead as he will be more comfortable with his preferred style of tracks coming up.

Meanwhile, Hunter-Reay will try to improve on his podium finish here last year after not finishing in the top 10 in his previous two attempts at Toronto.

Both Power and Hunter-Reay will have to look over their shoulders at Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe. Dixon has finished in the top five twice in three attempts here, including a runner-up run last year. Hinch is the hometown hero and would love to earn his first career win in front of his home fans. I think he could be the favorite to do so.

Hinchcliffe made a mistake and pushed too hard on a late restart in Iowa and found himself in the Turn 4 wall. That was the first serious mistake the young Canadian had made all season as he was in position to take the series points lead with a solid finish. Hinchcliffe has finished worse than sixth just one other time this season and that was in Detroit after he hit a chunk of the racing surface that was breaking up. With the combination of his consistency, Chevrolet's power, and Toronto being his home track, I think Hinchcliffe could be the favorite on Sunday.

One driver I'm selling on for Sunday's race is Helio Castroneves. He has one win on a street circuit this season and that was the season opening race in St. Pete, but since he has only one top 10 in the other three street venues. Castroneves hasn't fared well at all in his three attempts at Toronto as he has zero top 10's with a best finish of 17th.

The sleeper to watch out for on Sunday is rookie Simon Pagenaud. He's been very strong this season and has run well on street circuits this season. He has three top 10's in the four street races with two podiums. He's familiar with the Toronto circuit as he's raced here in other series, and I expect Pagenaud to be a threat for the win come Sunday afternoon.

The series kicks off action on Friday with two-one hour practice sessions from 11:05-12:05 P.M. and 1:55-2:55 P.M. The series resumes action on Saturday with another hour long session in the morning from 9:45-10:45 A.M. with the 25-car field being set in qualifying Saturday afternoon from 1:55-2:55 P.M. The 85-Lap Honda Indy Toronto can be seen Sunday on ABC at 12:30 P.M.

My Top 5 Predictions:

1. 27 James Hinchcliffe
2. 10 Dario Franchitti
3. 12 Will Power
4. 77 Simon Pagenaud
5. 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay


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