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Honda Indy Toronto race times, supermodifieds at Jukasa

Norris McDonald
Written by Norris McDonald

NHRA drag racing champion Courtney Force (a.k.a. Mrs. Graham Rahal) stands with her husband at a CarQuest store in Rexdale this week. PHOTO by John Larsen/Photograffics.com

People are pouring in to Exhibition Place for the Honda Indy’s Fan Friday. Remember: there is no admission (the Honda Dealers of Ontario are picking up the tab) but you are encouraged to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Canada.

Last year, nearly $100,000 was raised for the charity on the Friday.

Saturday’s big race is the NASCAR Canada Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto. It goes to the post at 3:25 p.m. IndyCar qualifying will be held from 1:55 p.m. till 3.

Sunday, the Honda Indy will get the green flag at 3:35 p.m.

The Honda Indy is not the only big-league race taking place in the GTA-area this weekend.

Saturday night at Jukasa Motor Speedway, east of Hagersville, south of Hamilton, the rocket-ship I.S.M.A. Supermodifieds and the ROC Modified Tour will be putting on a twin bill.

The “supers” are my favourite class of racing cars and their 465-c.i. big-block Chevolet power plants inhale methanol while generating more than 700 horsepower. The ground shakes. An open-wheel, open-cockpit class, the supers are expected to average – average – 150 mph around the 5/8-mile Jukasa circuit.

In other words, they fly and the skill of the drivers is a wonder to behold.

“This is one event that I’ve personally been looking forward to all season long,” says Jukasa Motor Speedway General Manager Alex Nagy. “It’s going to be fast, it’s going to be loud and it’s absolutely going to be different than anything else you’re going to find across the province this weekend.”

When Jukasa Motor Speedway re-opened last August, Nagy made clear that it was their vision to bring as many elite-level racers and series to the speedway as possible on a regular basis.

“Our fans have been vocal right from the start that they wanted Supermodifieds and Tour-Type Modifieds at Jukasa – so there was never any question whether or not we were going to make this happen,” he said.

The ROC Modified Tour is expected to bring some of Western New York and Pennsylvania’s best groundpounders for the inaugural running of the Great Canadian 100, while the I.S.M.A. Supermodifieds have attracted entries from across the Northeast and Midwest – including former NASCAR Truck Series champion Johnny Benson Jr.

MotoGP champion Dani Pedrosa has announced his retirement. He will call it a career at the end of the 2018 season. At present, he has 31 career MotoGP victories, which ties him for eighth on the all-time list with Eddie Lawson.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, which is racing in Toronto at the Honda Indy this weekend with Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal, announced Friday that sports car and open-wheel racing driver Katherine Legge will drive one of the team’s two Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series electric race cars during the 2018/2019 ABB FIA Formula Eelectric season.

This is a busy weekend for Ed Hakonson Racing. The team will enter their No. 3 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Canada Pinty’s Series race on the Saturday of Honda Indy Toronto (Cole Powell will be the driver) while three provinces over and some 1,800 kilometers away in Antigonish, N.S., Jason Hathaway will be competing in Canada’s most competitive and largest late model race to date, the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis. The event draws competition from all over the Maritimes and takes place in front of a sold-out crowd each year. It’s a fundraiser for the IWK Children’s hospital in Halifax. Good for Ed, and his team.

Tickets and camping for the 14th annual Arrow Express Canadian Sprint Car Nationals on Sept. 14-15 at Ohsweken Speedway on the Six Nationals Reserve near Brantford, are now on sale. All campsites are $50 for the weekend and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites will sell quickly and speedway officials recommend fans reserve their spots as quickly as possible. All sites are dry and do not have water or electrical hook ups. Campsites will be open for move-in on Wednesday, Sept. 12, one night prior to Thursday’s test and tune. Fans can book their sites online at www.ohswekenspeedway.ticketforce.com or by calling (519) 717-0023. The $10,000-to-win Canadian Sprint Car Nationals attract the top 360 Sprint Car drivers from across Canada and the U.S. Northeast to Ohsweken’s 3/8-mile oval each September.

nmcdonald@thestar.ca