Luck was not on Anthony Simone’s side over the course of the Honda Indy weekend in Toronto. The driver of the No. 95 Innovative Plumbing/InkYourRide Dodge had speed all weekend, but just couldn’t pull together the run that he hoped for.
Alex Labbe stuffed his car into the tire barriers in turn five during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, and as Simone was rounding the blind corner, he couldn’t see Labbe’s idle car, and piled into the No. 32 Ford. Simone ended up qualifying 11th for Saturday’s race, but the team was forced to do extensive repair work.
Only three laps into the start of the Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto, Simone was forced to pull off to the entrance of pit road as flames began to smoke began to fill the cockpit. Simone finished last in the 26-car field. The early DNF marks Simone’s third of the year in a season that has plagued him with bad luck.
“I came out of turn seven, and then down into eight,” Simone told OnPitRoad.com after climbing from the car. “There was some fuel coming into the car. It looked like water, but I didn’t know what it was. All of a sudden I came out of eight, and the car caught on fire. I just stopped and jumped out as soon as I could.”
Simone said that although the car was involved in a wreck on Friday, there’s no reason to believe damage from the wreck had anything to do with the incident during the race.
“The cap on the back of the carburetor fuel line came off,” he said. “It had nothing to do with the accident in qualifying.”
Simone was disappointed with the DNF as the team felt like they had good speed all weekend. The No. 95 car was 11th in both practice and qualifying on Friday.
“We had such a fast car today that it’s a shame we’re out so early.”