Rely on deep teams with quick turnaround for Toronto


(Sign up for the #INDYCAR Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone and make your driver selections for the Honda Indy Toronto here.)

It’s a quick turnaround this week for the Verizon IndyCar Series, going from the tight oval and speed of Iowa Speedway to the even tighter street course in Toronto. That quick shift from the oval to street setup gives a slight advantage to the larger teams – more data means more chances to try things and get things right.

It doesn’t always work that way, but any advantage helps. Keep that in mind as you make your driver selections for the Honda Indy Toronto in the #INDYCAR Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone.

Team Penske is coming off a win and it always seems to have a bit of an edge and Helio Castroneves got back to victory lane in Iowa. While it’s easy to think he’ll place well, a back-to-back probably isn’t in the cards. At $32, he’s probably a little over the value I would like, but his teammates (Simon Pagenaud and Will Power) are no cheaper at $31 and $30, respectively. Even with Power winning last season at Toronto, I’ll take Helio based on his consistency (and the chance that he’s making one last run at a championship).

What about Josef Newgarden, the fourth horse in the Team Penske stable? He’s down at $29 and I’ll add him to my team this week. Newgarden isn’t bad on ovals, but he’s better with more turns. He’s almost a guaranteed top finisher and Penske has been good at finishing, if nothing else. (Then again, Newgarden did crash out at Toronto last year.)

Newgarden has been almost as consistent on road and street courses this season as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, which is saying something. Saving a dollar by taking Newgarden over his teammates isn’t much, but it does let us fill up the back of the team a bit better.

After Team Penske, my next two drivers are with Ganassi. Tony Kanaan ($24) and Charlie Kimball ($15) are a study in contrasts, but their values this week fit perfectly with the remaining salary. Kanaan is more consistent, but Kimball’s price tag has fallen too low, even with a disappointing season so far. Getting a driver who can contend for near-minimum pricing is just too good to pass up.

Don’t like the Ganassis? If you’re determined to have an Andretti Autosport driver, a combo of Marco Andretti ($18) and Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand ($19) fits under the cap as well, but I feel like the Ganassi drivers have a better chance of upside this week given the turnaround and the track. With both these drivers, balancing the upside against the inconsistent results – and, for Marco, the simply disappointing 2017 campaign – just doesn’t make sense.

My team of two Penskes (Castroneves and Newgarden) and two Ganassis (Kanaan and Kimball) comes in dead on the $100 salary cap and gives me a great shot at loading up on points north of the border. Good luck as we hit the heart of the schedule through July.

From the fans