Next 5 Races - Princes Gate

TORONTO -- Thirty points separate first and fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings, while there’s a 93-point gap between Graham Rahal in 10th place and front-runner Will Power.

Another tight IZOD IndyCar Series title chase is taking shape with six races remaining, including the next five on road and street circuits (Toronto, Edmonton, Mid-Ohio, Sonoma and Baltimore). The finale is Sept. 15 at Auto Club Speedway – a 500-miler on the sweeping oval that will amp up the drama. The series champion has been decided in the final race the past six years.

Click it: Championship standings || Honda Indy Toronto entrant list || Tickets, info

First up is the Honda Indy Toronto on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn street circuit, where all the title contenders but rookie Simon Pagenaud (sixth) has competed at least once. Dario Franchitti has won two of the past three IZOD IndyCar Series events at Exhibition Place, while Power won in 2010 and was the pole sitter last July (he also won the Champ Car event in ’07). Franchitti exited Toronto with a 55-point championship advantage after Power sustained his second consecutive DNF (contact between their cars in Turn 3 being a major factor).

This year, Power enters the 85-lap race with a three-point margin over Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has vaulted from seventh with two consecutive short track victories. Two-time series champion Scott Dixon is 15 points off the pace in third.

"We have some unfinished business and I know everyone here is working hard to get back to Victory Lane,” said Power, who has three road/street course victories this season in addition to qualifying on the front row in four of those five races.

Toronto also has been a place for Hunter-Reay to record positive results (back-to-back third-place finishes). In fact, since joining Andretti Autosport in 2010, he’s not finished out of the top 10 in any of the next five events.

"It feels like we're prepared for a championship effort,” said Hunter-Reay, who had two podium finishes in the early-season road/street races. “We're going to keep our heads down and attack each race, each lap. A big part of our success the past two races has been the ability to save our tires and then make our move when the other cars lose pace. We can do some of that at a street course like Toronto, and the real secret to making that work is having a car that is well-balanced and allows a driver to stay with the leaders while still saving tires and equipment.”

The driver leading the series championship at the midway point of the season has won the title in six of the past 13 seasons.

2011 Averages - Next Five Races
Will Power 1.8 8.2
* 3 Poles, 5 top-six starts, 3 wins
Ryan Hunter-Reay 9.0 6.2
* 2 top-six starts, 2 top-five finishes
Scott Dixon 4.0 7.2
* 1 Pole, 4 top-six starts, 1 win, 4 top-five finishes
James Hinchcliffe 10.2 16.0
* 1 top-six start, 1 top-ten finish
Helio Castroneves 13.2 11.4
* 1 top-six start, 2 podium finishes