Scott Dixon sweeps Honda Indy Toronto for 2inTO
by Scott A.Sumner
The Toronto Honda Indy race this year was unique featuring two full length points counting races for the ultimate racers of the IZOD Indycar series. This series offers the best open wheeled race cars in North America and a lot of history. The Indy 500 is the flagship race each year and Toronto has proven to be one of the most popular events on the circuit.
This year there was much excitement in the air with both Saturday and Sunday main event races that provided fans with lots to see. The 24 Indycars and their 12 teams create quite a spectacle at Ontario Place in Toronto near the Direct Energy Centre. This convention area offers over 1 million square feet of indoor space and with the CN Tower in the back drop creates a perfect setting.
This years races were very exciting and Scott Dixon put in two dominating performances to win twice for the Target Chip Ganassi team. This team along with Penske and Andretti are really super teams with great funding and a real professionalism to their operations.
Scott Dixon along with Canadian Alex Taglinai of Barracuda Racing teamed up with the Power of 2 to support charity by raising money online. Whoever raises the most will require the other to wear a costume of a beaver or sheep. Tagliani is supporting Anaphylaxis Canada, a non-profit organization that helps people with life-threatening allergies. Dixon is backing youth cancer organizations CanTeen and Teens Living With Cancer. “ I was happy to get involved in this fundraising event. As a teen it is a difficult time with your body changing and then trying to figure out what you want to do in life.” said Scott Dixon.
The Toronto Honda Indycar race has many support series races on the three day weekend and it was fun to see the new series “Stadium Super Trucks” race and even do some impressive jumps on the pavement. Robby Gordon is President/ Founder of Stadium Super Trucks and is well known as a off road truck racer, Indycar winner and former Nascar driver. “ It is a series we just started in March so we are very, very new. This is round 7 and 8 of our series “Stadium Super Trucks” but maybe we need to change the name to Street Super Trucks when we go Indycar racing here,” smiled Robby Gordon. “ The truck is just different on pavement. We could lower them down to handle better on pavement but then we wouldn't be able to do the jumps as well.”
This year Robby has won every off road desert race including the Baja 500. “ We do these cars out of Charlotte, NC in a 100,000 square foot Nascar shop and have a lot of fun. This is a truck that we purpose built for off road racing or stadium racing. It has 20 inches of wheel travel with 625 HP,” said Gordon. “ When we go over the jumps and hit the pavement with the truck it may look insane when they start to lunge sideways but it isn't that big off a deal. They handle very well but the truck can roll. We have some great drivers in the series including Sheldon Creed, age 15. who has a bright future for sure.”
Sheldon Creed started racing at age 3 with BMX bikes, and then raced dirt bikes at age 5. His ultimate goal is to drive Nascar down the road. “ The jumps aren’t that scary. I have rolled the trucks before!”said Sheldon Creed. “ I like racing a lot. Anytime driving is good. This truck can go 127 MPH down the back chute.”
Maurice Ortega is sponsor, grandfather and crew chief for Sheldon and has a family owned business with about 300 employees, doing underground utilities and natural gas pipelines work in Souther California and Nevada.
“ Sheldon is a pleasure to work with. You challenge him to do something and he does it. He knows how to figure out the truck and talk set up so can communicate with others. He drives the truck and works on them as well,” said Ortega. “ Sheldon is in a high school that allows him to go Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and have Monday and Friday off.”
Sheldon won the second race of the weekend beating such experienced racers as Paul Tracy and Robby Gordon!
TORONTO, ON, July 14, 2013 – Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing capped off a historic weekend in Toronto today by sweeping both INDYCAR races at this year’s 2inTO Honda Indy Toronto. His winning weekend allowed him to earn the $100,000 SONAX Perfect Finish Award and round up his 32 career wins, propelling him to seventh all- time in total victories and bringing him to second in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.
Canadian favourites Alex Tagliani and James Hinchcliffe finished Sunday’s race in 10th and 21st respectively.
The races also paid tribute to Leafs Nation, featuring appearances by Dave Bolland as grand marshal for the Saturday race, Nazem Kadri waving the green flag as honorary starter and David Clarkson as the grand marshal on Sunday. Canadian singer-songwriters Vita Chambers and Karl Wolf gave outstanding performances of the national anthems.
“We were delighted to see so many people enjoying their time at the Honda Indy Toronto this weekend,” said Charlie Johnstone, President of the Honda Indy Toronto. “The feedback on the festivals and races is outstanding, with most people feeling a new appreciation for the excitement of motorsports and the diversity of activities that this world-class event provides.”
Accompanied by beautiful weather, and a passionate team of staff and volunteers, the 2013 Honda Indy Toronto delivered riveting races with the first-ever standing start for the IZOD IndyCar Series. Proving to be more than just a race, the diverse entertainment lineup of festivals attracted families, children and friends. Participants enjoyed poutine-eating contests, a heart-pounding spectacle from Super Stadium Trucks that saw trucks fly through the air, a special souvenir from driver autograph sessions and much more.
Event organizers have begun tear-down of the track at Exhibition Place and expect traffic on Lake Shore to open by midnight tonight.
More than $57,000 Raised for Make-A-Wish® Canada at Honda Indy Toronto
TORONTO, ON, July 15, 2013 – Thanks to the generosity of Toronto race fans, support from Honda Canada Inc. and the Ontario Honda Dealers Association (OHDA), more than $57,000 was raised for Make-A- Wish Canada during a race weekend filled with fun both on and off the track. This marks the fourth straight year of Make-A-Wish® fundraising efforts at the Honda Indy Toronto, which has generated a total of $308,000.
“On behalf of everyone at Make-A-Wish Canada, I’d like to express our sincere thanks to Honda Canada, its dealers and, of course, the fans,” said Jennifer Ritter, CEO, Make-A-Wish Canada. “This level of commitment and support is a huge part of how we can continue to grant wishes and bring happiness and strength to the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions.”
Four years of Fan Friday, donate year-round Race lovers of all ages were once again treated to the speed and thrill of the Honda Indy Toronto for free during the fourth annual Fan Friday. Rather than pay admission, attendees were encouraged to make a contribution to Make-A-Wish. Donations were also accepted for games and activities including Blue Jays batting cages, face painting, an all-new Honda Pit Stop Challenge and racing simulators. All contributions over the weekend were matched dollar-for-dollar by Honda Canada.
“Fan Friday has grown every year and we’re very proud to have a role in its evolution,” said Kevin Pearson, president, Ontario Honda Dealers Association. “Perhaps the best part of this event is that it’s not just for race fans. There truly is something for everyone and it all happens in support of Make-A-Wish.” The races may be over, but there are always opportunities to donate to Make-A-Wish. To make a five dollar donation, text the word ‘DREAM’ to 41010 from any mobile phone. With support from organizations like Honda Canada and the OHDA, Make-A-Wish grants over 500 wishes a year through eight regional chapters across the country.
“Activities like this are very much a part of who Honda is as a company,” said Dave Gardner, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Honda Canada. “We’re happy to support our Ontario Honda Dealers and it’s great to see so many fans join us every year to help grant the wishes of kids across the country."
About the Ontario Honda Dealers Association: The Ontario Honda Dealers Association, which was founded in 1989, represents 77 Honda dealers located in 62 communities throughout Ontario, which is home to the two Honda of Canada Mfg. assembly plants that produce Civic, Canada's best-selling passenger car for 15 consecutive years, in addition to the CR-V. The 77 Honda dealerships in Ontario, which have a proven track record for providing maximum customer satisfaction, employ approximately 3,000 associates.
About Make-A-Wish® Canada Make-A-Wish Canada is a dynamic wish-granting organization that brings hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Along with the national office, eight (8) regional chapters grant magical wishes to children in need from coast- to-coast. This year, Make-A-Wish Canada is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the granting of more than 5,000 wishes to children in need. Make-A-Wish Canada is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International. Make-A-Wish is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true for more than 310,000 children since 1980. For more information please visit www.makeawish.ca.
About the Honda Indy Toronto The Honda Indy Toronto took place July 12-14, 2013 on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto. With 27 years of IndyCar racing history in Toronto, the Honda Indy Toronto is among the most respected motorsports events in North America and includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes, and a festival of live entertainment and interactive activities. For more information, visit hondaindytoronto.com. Follow the Honda Indy Toronto on Twitter @HondaIndy and ‘Like’ us on Facebook at facebook.com/ HondaIndyToronto.
For more information, visit HondaIndy.com. =