Find out more about our subscriptions

Toronto IndyCar: Mike Conway wins with bold slick tyre call

Mike Conway wins Toronto IndyCar 2014

Mike Conway cashed in on an early change from wet tyres to slicks to win the second race of the IndyCar double-header in Toronto, his second victory of the season.

The Ed Carpenter Racing driver, who won earlier this year at Long Beach, started 11th, and had to recover from a drivethrough penalty just after his first pitstop.

Showers at the end of the opening stint forced the entire field to change to wet tyres, but when the first hint of a dry line began to appear Conway was among the first to gamble on switching back.

That decision moved him ahead of the leaders when they made the same change a couple of laps later, but he was still trailing Justin Wilson, Josef Newgarden, Carlos Huertas and Luca Filippi, all of whom stayed out on wets.

Conway capitalised on a restart 10 minutes from the end to overtake all of his wet-shod rivals, but no sooner had he passed Wilson for the lead than the race was red-flagged due to a pile-up at Turn 3.

As it transpired, the stoppage was both a blessing and a curse: he had pulled out 2.1-second over Wilson in just one lap prior to the red, but having Wilson immediately behind him offered some protection from Tony Kanaan at the restart; the Ganassi driver having also vaulted up the field.

Conway crossed the line 3.4s clear of the Brazilian, and admitted that he'd been a little on edge toward the finish.

"It was really difficult in the wet; we were really struggling," he said. "As soon as I saw the start of a dry line I was ready to come in, and it was a great call.

"I was a bit nervous with the red flag, but I knew with Justin behind me that I'd be able to cover it."

Will Power saw off a late challenge from Charlie Kimball to complete the podium, and closed to within 13 points of Penske team-mate and championship leader Helio Castroneves, who was also running towards the front for most of the race but dropped back with damage in the closing laps.

"I just wasn't willing to take a big risk," said Power. "Good day. Typical IndyCar race, it throws everything at you, but you just have to survive and that's what we did."

Power's assessment of the race was a fair one: even by IndyCar standards, it was eventful.

The changing conditions played a major part in the string of incidents that played out through the afternoon, including the pile-up that began with Juan Pablo Montoya skidding into the tyres, and ended with Mikhail Aleshin rear-ending him and sliding underneath his car.

The time spent retrieving the Russian - who was unhurt, although his helmet carried marks from the Penske undercarriage - was bad news for James Hinchcliffe, who had gone into the barrier at the same time but was forced to wait four laps to be rescued.

Not all of the mishaps were weather-related: three Andretti drivers were penalised at once when they pitted during a caution before the pitlane had opened, with title contender Ryan Hunter-Reay's afternoon getting even worse when he became involved in the late multi-car crash. He was classified 15th.

Fellow championship hopeful Simon Pagenaud also had a bad afternoon; the Frenchman losing a stack of time in the opening laps when his car developed a mechanical problem while he was running third.

Elsewhere, a potentially solid run by Graham Rahal was ended by a gearbox problem, while his Rahal Letterman Lanigan team-mate Luca Filippi was looking even stronger in fifth before he spun, and then later incurred a 30s post-race penalty for receiving service in a closed pit.

Results - 56 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Engine           Time/Gap
 1.  Mike Conway         Carpenter/Chevy  1h20m35.5420s
 2.  Tony Kanaan         Ganassi/Chevy         +3.5418s
 3.  Will Power          Penske/Chevy          +5.1545s
 4.  Charlie Kimball     Ganassi/Chevy         +5.4857s
 5.  Takuma Sato         Foyt/Honda            +6.6210s
 6.  Jack Hawksworth     Herta/Honda           +7.8701s
 7.  Scott Dixon         Ganassi/Chevy         +7.9350s
 8.  Marco Andretti      Andretti/Honda       +10.1765s
 9.  Sebastien Bourdais  KV/Chevy             +12.0212s
10.  Justin Wilson       Coyne/Honda          +15.7853s
11.  Ryan Briscoe        Ganassi/Chevy        +15.8671s
12.  Helio Castroneves   Penske/Chevy         +16.2205s
13.  Josef Newgarden     Fisher/Honda         +20.9127s
14.  Ryan Hunter-Reay    Andretti/Honda       +22.6140s
15.  Carlos Huertas      Coyne/Honda          +29.2715s
16.  Luca Filippi        Rahal/Honda          +46.4382s
17.  Carlos Munoz        Andretti/Honda         -4 laps*
18.  James Hinchcliffe   Andretti/Honda         -4 laps
19.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Penske/Chevy           -4 laps

* Not running at finish


     Graham Rahal        Rahal/Honda            50 laps
     Sebastian Saavedra  KV/Chevy               49 laps
     Simon Pagenaud      Schmidt/Honda          47 laps**
     Mikhail Aleshin     Schmidt/Honda          11 laps

** Running again at finish

All drivers use Dallara chassis
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Bourdais dominates Toronto opener
IndyCar rethinks Toronto start order
IndyCar: Conditions were 'too crazy'
Toronto IndyCar race one rained off
Bourdais claims first pole since 2007
Pagenaud leads truncated Toronto FP2
Newgarden tops first Toronto practice