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IndyCar Toronto

How top IndyCar stars were stung by late Toronto fuel drama

Team Penske’s Will Power admitted his surprise at being forced to make a last-lap pitstop that blew a top-five finish in Toronto’s IndyCar race on Sunday – and he wasn’t alone.

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda pit stop

Power and the chasing Marcus Ericsson’s Chip Ganassi Racing entry were both forced to make shock splash-and-go pitstops as the white flag flew in order to make it to the finish.

Ericsson salvaged 11th place, which just ensures he stays fourth in points, while Power dropped to 14th and lost his seventh place in the standings as a direct result.

Asked if he was surprised to have to pit so late, Power replied: “Yeah, I was. Giving me a [bigger fuel] number... I could quite easily have just gotten the number and made it. We have to review all that, I'm not sure what happened there.

“The car was really good, the strategy was right. I just needed a much bigger number earlier. I had no idea we were going to run out [of fuel].

“If I didn't get the numbers and attacked too hard too soon, then it's my fault. I was trying to put pressure on the two guys in front to run them out of fuel and probably not watching mine close enough.”

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Ericsson admitted to struggling on his first stint with his tires, but felt he was poised for a strong ending when he too had to pit as he was running out of gas.

“In the second half of the race I felt pretty strong, the car was feeling really good,” he said. “We were running in the top group but had an issue in the end there and we had to pit. We lost top position there and it's just a shame about the ending.”

Josef Newgarden, who finished fifth, shed some light on Penske’s issues when he revealed that his fuel numbers had been miscalculated – but fortunately he’d over-saved and had enough in the tank to make the finish, although his car ground to a halt on the cool-down lap.

“It was pretty big [the fuel save] at the end,” he said, having lost track position when he overshot his pit box at the final stop. “Thank goodness I was trying to do a little more than we needed to in the final stint, just to prepare for the end.

“None of us knew what was happening there or what was going to happen with two laps to go. We must have had some fuel error issue because they're going off our calculations and normally they are always spot on.

“So something must have been messed up today, which we were unaware of.”

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, pit stop

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, pit stop

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, who was arguably the closest contender to race dominator Christian Lundgaard, saw his chances of challenging for the win evaporate when he had to slow his pace to a relative crawl in the final stint – finishing eighth and 23s behind the winner.

Despite pitting on the same lap as Lundgaard, it appeared that he didn’t get enough gas in the tank to keep up the impressive pace he’d shown earlier in the race. According to NBC Peacock’s TV graphics, O’Ward’s stop was one second shorter than Lundgaard’s – which would explain the large fuel deficit.

“We just keep making the same mistakes that don’t help our races go forward,” said O’Ward. “We need to look into what the issues have been and fix those because they’re obviously valuable points that we’re just throwing away.”

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