Toronto — Scott Dixon won the IndyCar race at Toronto on Sunday for his third title at the event.
The New Zealand native finished the 85-lap course on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place first, with Simon Pagenaud of France finishing second. Robert Wickens was third, marking the third year in a row a Canadian landed on the podium.
James Hinchcliffe of Canada was fourth after two straight years of third-place finishes.
Josef Newgarden looked poised to defend his title and win for the third time in Toronto, leading for most of the first 32 laps on a hot and humid day. The start-time temperature was listed at about 80 degrees but felt like more like 95 degrees.
But on Turn 1 of Lap 33, the 27-year-old American hit the wall, allowing Dixon to take the lead and he cruised to victory from there.
Dixon entered the event 33 points ahead of Newgarden in the championship standings.
Further chaos ensued at the corner as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Will Power, Max Chilton, Ed Jones, Alexander Rossi and Sebastien Bourdais were involved in a collision.
Rossi had said Saturday the repave of the course would likely create more action heading into the first corner.
“I think it’ll allow Turn 1 to be a passing zone now. Before it was still bumpy on the inside, pretty low percentage chance, so now we’re able to improve everything from practice for the race.”
The incident allowed Wickens and Hinchcliffe to surge into third and fourth.
Wickens moved up to second in Lap 35 to trail Dixon, who led until he pitted on Lap 55 but retook the lead shortly after.
This was the first race in Canada for Wickens, an IndyCar rookie, since he competed in Toronto as part of the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic. He spent 12 seasons in Europe, including six with Germany’s DTM series.
Truex surges to victory
Martin Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, passing Brad Keselowski and then Kurt Busch late on the way to repeating as champion on Saturday night.
Truex’s No. 78 Toyota Camry appeared even more dominant than last July as he led five times for 174 of 267 laps and swept the first two stages from the pole. The defending Cup champion was always in contention in the 400-mile race, even while trailing. He proved it at key moments late, overtaking Keselowski on lap 201 and Busch 23 laps later to become Kentucky’s first back-to-back winner, earning his fourth victory this season.