After 2 Years, Indy Toronto Race Returns To Ontario

Written By Jose Colorado on July 14, 2022

Indy Toronto is officially back.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IndyCar’s premier Canadian street-racing event returns to Ontario on Friday.

That makes it the perfect time to highlight the Indy Toronto as PlayCanada’s Sports Betting Event of the Week.

Formally known as Honda Indy Toronto, Indy Toronto is the 12th race in the IndyCar Series. In total, 17 races will be contested in 2022. The race will be contested between Exhibition Place and Lake Shore Boulevard in Toronto. The race is an 11-turn, 85-lap (151.81 miles) sprint.

Newgarden odds at Ontario sportsbooks

Seven Ontario sportsbooks have American Josef Newgarden as the favourite.

He currently sits third on the Series leaderboard with 287 points, behind 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson (321 points) of Sweden and Will Power (301 points) of Australia. Yet, Newgarden — a two-time Indy Toronto winner (2017, 2015) — leads the circuit in wins this year with three. That’s a strong reason he is favoured to win the Toronto race for the third time.

 theScore BetPointsBetBet365BetMGMCaesarsBetRiversDraftKings
FavouriteJosef Newgarden
5.50, +450
Josef Newgarden
5.00, +400
Josef Newgarden
6.00, +500
Josef Newgarden
5.50, +450
Josef Newgarden
5.50, +450
Josef Newgarden
5.50, +450
Josef Newgarden
5.50, +450
2nd ChoiceAlex Palou
6.00,+500
Patricio O'Ward
5.25, +425
Patricio O'Ward
6.00, +500
Alex Palou
6.00,+500
Patricio O'Ward
5.50,+450
Patricio O'Ward
6.00, +500
Alex Palou
6.00,+500
3rd ChoicePatricio O'Ward
6.00, +500
Alex Palou
5.50,+450
Alex Palou
6.00,+500
Patricio O'Ward
6.00, +500
Alex Palou
6.50,+550
Alex Palou
6.00,+500
Patricio O'Ward
6.50, +550
4th ChoiceColton Herta
7.0, +600
Colton Herta
7.25, +625
Colton Herta
7.0, +600
Colton Herta
8.00, +700
Colton Herta
8.00, +700
Colton Herta
8.00, +700
Colton Herta
8.00, +700
5th ChoiceWill Power
9.00, +800
Will Power
8.75, +775
Will Power
9.00, +800
Will Power
10.00, +900
Will Power
9.5, +850
Will Power
10.00, +900
Will Power
11.00, +1000

DeFrancesco headlines Canadians in Indy Toronto

When it comes to Canadians, there are essentially two possibilities. There is Dalton Kellett of Stouffville, ON from Team A.J. Foyt Enterprises. But the most intriguing prospect is Devlin DeFrancesco from Toronto for Team Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport.

The 22-year-old has racked up 99 points and is eligible for the Rookie of the Year award. Currently, he ranks third in that category. He has yet to win a race in the Series. But what a thrilling homecoming party it could be should the Torontonian cross the checkered flag first come Sunday.

Yet, both Canadians are predicted to finish among the bottom three in the field of 25.

Odds on DeFrancesco to win:

  • DraftKings: 151.00, +15000
  • thScore Bet: 151.00, +15000
  • BetMGM: 201.00, +20000
  • Caesars: 301.00, +30,000
  • BetRivers: 151.00, +15000
  • bet365: 151.00, +15000
  • PointsBet: 101.00, +10000

Odds on Kellet to win:

  • DraftKings: 501.00, +50000
  • thScore Bet: 501.00, +50000
  • BetMGM: 1001.00, +100000
  • Caesars: 2501.00, +250000
  • BetRivers: 501.00, +50000
  • bet365: 751.00, +75000
  • PointsBet: 2501.00, +250000

How to watch Indy Toronto

IndyCar is a recognized member of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile – known as FIA. And like many FIA-sanctioned events, Indy Toronto is spread across three days.

This weekend’s Honda Indy schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, July 15: Practice round 1
  • Saturday, July 16: Practice round 2 and qualifications
  • Sunday, July 17: Indy Toronto Race

All three days are worth watching, especially for those looking to bet on IndyCar. For instance, Saturday’s qualifications determine where drivers start the race on Sunday. If a driver botches their qualification, their odds for the race may plummet, and vice versa.

Another caveat is car condition. An overzealous driver could potentially damage – or worse yet — crash their vehicle in qualifications. Yes, repairs can be made. But ultimately, the car — and the driver’s confidence — may not be the same. These considerations will impact odds, outcomes and the likelihood of bettors cashing out.

Broadcasting partners for the race include:

  • Peacock
  • IndyCar Live
  • SiriusXM
  • IndyCar’s Radio Network

You can buy tickets to Indy Toronto for in-person viewing.

A comparison: IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula 1

Unlike its NASCAR and Formula 1, IndyCar does not command enough viewership to warrant its inclusion with the major motorsport players.

NASCAR’s product remains cult-like in the American market. Meanwhile, Formula 1 is in a category all on its own.

Forbes estimated Lewis Hamilton – the circuit’s most popular figure – made roughly US$62 million in racing alone in 2021. For comparison’s sake, basketball icon Stephen Curry will be the highest-paid player in the NBA this year at $48.4 million.

Kyle Busch is NASCAR’s cash cow at a reported $17 million per year. In contrast, IndyCar’s salaries are much smaller and often kept private since they pale compared to its competitors.

IndyCar crash-course in rebranding

Simply put, internal squabbling has stunted IndyCar’s growth. Over the years, the sanctioning body has undergone multiple rebranding efforts. And ultimately, that lack of stability has turned some people off.

Popularity has risen – specifically with younger audiences — in recent years.

COVID-19 has knocked the Series down for a few years – particularly for the Indy Toronto. But a triumphant return this weekend could help build the brand back up.

Photo by Shutterstock
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