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Locks, Drops and Sleepers for Toronto

Zach, Kyle, Chris, Kristin
| Jul 07, 2011


Lock: Will Power
I hate to be Mr. Obvious, but after an up-and-down run on the big oval block of the schedule, you don't want to bet against Power as we return to road and street courses. He won here last year, and will be eager to repeat to keep up the fight against Dario Franchitti in the championship.

Drop: Helio Castroneves
It might seem odd to target a Team Penske car for this, but hear me out. As far as Toronto goes, Helio crashed out in 2010 (P24), and finished P18 in 2009. What's more, going back to when he ran here in CART, he only finished one out of four races. So far, Toronto just hasn't been his sort of city.

Sleeper: Justin Wilson
True, Wilson's had a relatively average year so far, but he's still an ace on the twisties. He won the Toronto pole last year and led the most laps in the race before spinning late. He recovered to finish P7, but his sights will be higher this year. Going back further, don't forget his P5 finish in 2009, and a win here in Champ Car back in 2005. He's got the history and talent to pull it off.

---Zach Houghton

Lock: Will Power
Surprised anyone? Power is the defending winner at Toronto and remains probably the best road and street course in the series. What's more, after a tough stretch of oval races where he ran well (even winning one a race at Texas) only to be undone on pit lane (Indianapolis and Iowa). The last thing anyone needs to give Power is extra motivation heading to a track in which he's already won on. That's exactly what we have here.

Drop: Takuma Sato
Even though his form has improved this year, he still finds himself against the wall too much. In Iowa, the cards seem to align for Sato and it looked like he may finally close the deal. But, after the final pit stop, once again his propensity for crashing reared its ugly head. Now, we're heading to Toronto, a placed where Sato (you guessed it) crashed last year (and with teammate in Mario Moraes nonetheless). Until he can consistently finish well, leave Sato out of your lineup.

Sleeper: Ryan Hunter-Reay
Even though he has having one of biggest "bad luck" seasons we've ever seen, Hunter-Reay has been very fast on the road and street courses and would have the results to show it if not for mechanical failures, driver error, or insane weather conditions. As the series heads back to a street course (and one he has done well the last two years), Hunter-Reay has a chance to start redeeming himself.

---Kyle Lavigne

Lock: Will Power
The defending champion at Toronto said he feels fine after suffering a minor concussion on a tough night in Iowa. And considering that we're heading back to the twisty tracks for a bit, that's good enough for me.

Drop: E.J. Viso
A 13th-place finish in 2009 and a run-in with Raphael Matos last year that helped knock him to 19th at race's end shouldn't give fantasy racers a lot of faith in the Venezuelan at Toronto.

Sleeper: James Hinchcliffe
Yes, it's his first race in an IndyCar on the streets of Toronto. But I just have a hunch that he could deliver this Sunday. This is his home race, so you know he and Newman-Haas will be looking to get up front and stay there.

---Chris Estrada

Lock: Will Power
I have to go with the majority this week. It was a thrill to watch Marco take the win in Iowa but it’s back to the points race this week. Dario has managed to keep Will at bay the last couple races, but I don’t think he’ll stand a chance against the road course master in Toronto.

Drop: Scott Dixon
Yep, I’m going in a different direction this time. It’s no secret that Scott hasn’t been up to par this season. The Iceman has given solid performances week in and week out, but hasn’t dominated as we’re used to. So even if he ends up finishing the race with a top 10, top 5 finish, it will still be considered a “drop” for Dixon.

Sleeper: Ryan Hunter-Reay
Call me a softie but I think the newlywed glow will light a spark in Ryan going into Toronto. He hasn’t had the best season, his team hasn’t been particularly successful, his 500 entry was clouded by controversy- but this past weekend he got hitched to girlfriend Beccy Gordon. So maybe his luck is changing and Toronto would certainly be a great place to show it.

---Kristin Slevin


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  16. 16 Alex M 07 Jul
    Yeah Zachary, if there is one driver happy to get back to the road races it is Mike Conway, lol. I got Justin Wilson to, since I didn't start doing the fantasy racing here until the Indy 500, so I can just burn all my Wilson's and Conways on the road courses
  17. 17 Zachary 07 Jul
    Thanks for the picks, Alex! I really thought about Conway as my sleeper, but I like Wilson's history at Toronto. I do think Conway could run very well there--it'd be nice to see after a rough time of it on the ovals.
  18. 18 Alex M 07 Jul

    Lock: Oriol Servia

    I gott's go with Oriol Servia as a lock this week instead of Will Power.   Oriol Servia has been a top car all year and always in the top 3-5 on road courses, or really anywhere for that matter, and that team has always been fast with a capable driver behind the wheel.  Last year Graham Rahal scroed a top 5 for that team at Toronto, in just the first race of his part time ride with them last year.  The pairing of them with Servia has already proved to work and they are ready to win.  The stars may be aligning for this weak in Toronto.  He also doesn't crash alot, making him a very safe pick.


    Drop: Will Power

    This isn't because he won't run well, he always does on road courses.  I am dropping Will Power because, even though he was cleared to race, a jarring street course isn't the best pklace for a driver coming off an injury.  Plus, Will Power didn't dominate Toronto last year, it was a hard fought race all through and Will didn't whip the field like he has on many other road courses.  He may run well, but he isn't as likely to dominate this week like he will on other road courses.  There are still 5 more road course races, so save your Will Power's for them.


    Sleeper: Mike Conway

    Mike Conway has ran very well on the street courses this year.  In fact, if it wasn't for the first corner crash, I believe he would have won St. Pete.  Mike also scored a impresive win at Long Beach, starting up front, losing spots in the pits, then charging from the back to the front.  St. Pete and Long Beach are the two most similair tracks to Toronto, so his strengths at those places make him a great pick for Toronto.

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