The Verizon IndyCar Series travels “North of the border” this weekend for the final street-course fight of the season, so here are a few things to consider while choosing your #INDYCAR Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone squad for the Honda Indy Toronto.
Drivers powered by Honda have scored 18 of the possible 20 top-fives in the first four street-circuit races of 2018. Andretti Autosport drivers have two wins, five podiums and eight top-five finishes. The two Chevrolet-powered podiums have come from Team Penske drivers.
Take away an error in the second Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear second race and Alexander Rossi ($30) would have his win at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and four podiums in this year’s quartet of temporary circuit events. As it stands, the Andretti Autosport driver leads all drivers with an average street-course finish of 4.8.
"I'm super excited to get to Toronto,” exclaimed Rossi, who finished on the middle step of the podium in Toronto last year. “That was kind of the start to our strong end last year, and we've been really good on street tracks this year. It's the last street course on the calendar, and we're doing our best to capitalize on our performance there and cut down the gap to the leader in the championship. It's so important to stay consistent at this point in the season with points. You just have to try to maximize the good days and minimize the bad days."
With a pair of podiums to go along with no finish worse than eighth, the second-best average street-course finish (5.0) this season goes to Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ed Jones ($21), making the sophomore a fantastic value pick.
Adding a Canuck to our lineup in the “Great White North” is a no-brainer, but choosing between Canadian Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates Robert Wickens and James Hinchcliffe ($28) is a challenge. Rookie Wickens has shown he is more than proficient on temporary circuits, but this week the edge goes to last week’s Iowa Speedway winner Hinchcliffe, who has the experience to know what to expect during the most hectic race of the year for a driver sporting the Maple Leaf.
Hinchcliffe, with four junior-level starts and eight Verizon IndyCar Series starts under his belt at his home track, had marginal results early in his career. But, with two straight podiums in Toronto, the Oakville, Ontario, native is on a roll.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot ($20) is coming off the first podium of his career and is heading to a track where he and engineer Matt Barnes have both tasted success. Pigot won two races on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place in 2015 to help secure the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship. Barnes won the Verizon IndyCar Series race while engineering Mike Conway in 2014 and finished second with Luca Filippi in 2015.
That brings my four-driver team total to $99, just under the $100 maximum allowed in the #INDYCAR Fantasy Challenge. Be sure to get your selections in before the green flag waves at about 3:40 p.m. ET Sunday.
Even though we’re past halfway through the season, don’t hesitate to join the fun today at http://fantasy.indycar.com. There are still plenty of fantastic weekly prizes to be won.