Let's get the party started - In about a month and a half the CNE will come alive with the sound, smell and action of the Honda Indy Toronto on Friday, July 16 to Sunday, July 18. The three days will be jam packed with cars, girls, beer and other activities so drop by their site and keep an eye out for the proposed schedule of events. We do know that the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will be joining the IZOD Indycar Series and Firestone Indy Lights racing during the weekend. The Indy Racing League (IRL) race starts at 12:30pm on Sunday, July 18, 2010.
In 2009 the schedule had the gates opening at 8am and the days ending at 6pm Friday and Saturday and 8am to 5pm on the final day - Sunday.
Attendance at Indy races, like the Honda Indy Toronto, are a concern and they need to ramp up the marketing and advertising. It really is a good deal of entertainment for the buck so I do recommend coming out to the races. (UPDATE June 2: My friends at the Toronto Star have announced that Friday's admission will be on the Ontario Honda Dealers Association.)
Some of the events coming up ahead of the race include the following.
Annual Drivers’ Party.
Pit Crew Girl Search (Budweiser).
Media Pit Stop Challenge (Honda) - this was at Yonge-Dundas Square last year.
Autograph signing sessions (numerous sponsors).
Public celebration at Yonge and Dundas Square during race week.
Shoot For A Cure teams up with the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation for the second annual Honda Indy Toronto Walk Run ‘N Wheel-a-thon, to be held in downtown Toronto on Thursday, July 15, 2010 in support of spinal cure research.
I also noticed that David Letterman is one of the owners of the Graham Rahal car so maybe we will be lucky and see David in Toronto this year.
There are also a lot of sponsors on board with promotion plans such as.
Green Savoree Toronto, owners of the Honda Indy Toronto, Honda, Ontario Honda Dealers Association, Budweiser, Schick, Telus, Motorola, Dr Pepper, Mattel Canada, Pizza Pizza, Delta Chelsea Hotel, the Toronto Sun, the Ontario Government, Tourism Toronto, PHD, Grip and Torchia Communications. Honda, Budweiser and Dr Pepper are planning themed promotions.
The League has 11 more races in the season and Toronto is only 4 races away. The latest race was the May 30th Indianapolis 500 which was won by Dario Franchitti, winer of the 2009 Honda Toronto Indy (picture at top) as well as the 2009 Indycar Series Champion. The remaining schedule is as follows.
Saturday, June 12 Texas Motor Speedway, oval
Sunday, June 20 Iowa Speedway, oval
Sunday, July 4 Watkins Glen International, road course
Sunday, July 18 Streets of Toronto, street course
Sunday, July 25 Edmonton City Centre Airport, airport course
Sunday, August 8 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, road course
Sunday, August 22 Infineon Raceway, road course
Saturday, August 28 Chicagoland Speedway, oval
Labor Day Weekend Kentucky Speedway, oval
Saturday, September 18Twin Ring Motegi, oval
Saturday, October 2 Homestead-Miami Speedway, oval
The current standings show Will Power (above) in the lead followed by the rest of top five: Dario Franchitti,
and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Ryan was involved in an accident with Mike Conway during the Indy 500 and the pictures of Mike's car flipping into the air and running along the fence are amazing. IRL says "Mike Conway will miss at least three months of the IZOD IndyCar Series season after having surgery the evening of May 30 to repair fractures to his lower left leg suffered in the white flag lap crash in the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day.
Indy Racing League Director of Medical Services Dr. Michael Olinger said Conway, of England, also has a soft tissue injury to his lower left leg and he is expected to have another surgical procedure later this week. Additionally, Conway has a compression fracture of one of his thoracic vertebrae and is being fitted for a back brace, which he will wear for three months." Here is a picture of Mike.
Canadians Alex Tagliani is 11th in the standings while Paul Tracy (below) has no points at this time. It was announced that Paul will race in both the Honda Indy Toronto and the Edmonton Indy, sponsored by Honda and supporting the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Danica Patrick sits at 12th place and has been taking a public beating after discussing her car and her dislike of street courses - I still can't wait to see her race. She started out in the 23rd position yesterday and ended up finishing the race in 6th place.