Ryan Hunter-Reay took the checkered flag Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto for his third consecutive IndyCar victory.

Hunter-Reay took the lead on Lap 49, lost it briefly on a pit stop, and regained it for good on Lap 57.

Defending champion Dario Franchitti started from the pole but lost time on a bad pit stop and finished the race in a collision with Ryan Briscoe. It's the third race in a row Hunter-Reay has won after Franchitti started in first place.

The victory is Hunter-Reay's first on a street course this season and moved the 31-year-old American 34 points clear of Will Power for the overall points lead.

Charlie Kimball finished a career-best second, while Mike Conway was third at Exhibition Place.

The 85-lap race ended under a yellow caution flag after two collisions occurred following a restart that made for a messy track.

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Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates his victory at the Honda Indy Toronto. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

A critical error kept Franchitti from defending his title. The Scottish driver had the pole and was running in second place when he pitted on Lap 27. But he stopped too far from the fuel pump and lost time having his car moved closer.

Power, Franchitti's rival and a two-time winner in Toronto, started second and took the lead on Lap 6, but was also knocked out of contention after his front wing broke off and slashed two of his tires. That forced a pit change and he had to pit again for another fix to the front of the car. He finished 15th.

Engine issues plagued James Hinchcliffe all weekend and they knocked him out of the race on Lap 28.

The fan favourite from Oakville, Ont., pulled over with concerns about his engine and never returned to the track, ending a disappointing appearance on home soil. Hinchcliffe started 19th after incurring a 10-grid spot penalty for changing an engine during Friday's practice.

"It started as a little hesitation that was progressively getting worse, and that usually means it's going to blow up soon," said Hinchcliffe, who finished 22nd. "Rather than risk that and maybe having a 10-place penalty in Edmonton, hopefully we can take this one back, get it fixed and just hit the ground running in two weeks."

Meanwhile, Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., was never a factor after starting 16th and finishing 10th at the 11-turn, 2.824-kilometre course.

Tony Kanaan had a remarkable race after starting well back in 17th. The Brazilian veteran was assessed a drive-through penalty on the 23rd lap for hitting a tire on his way out of the pit. Yet Kanaan stayed competitive, challenging Hunter-Reay for the lead late and settling for a fourth-place finish.

Scott Dixon, Franchitti's teammate, started fifth but his No. 9 Target car's engine died on him and had to be towed off the course leaking a trail of oil behind it after just seven laps.

Graham Rahal's day was over after he locked his tires and crumpled the left side of the front of his car into a corner. That led to a yellow where Simon Pagenaud took over first place when Power and the other leaders pitted. Pagenaud pulled in for a pit stop and from there the race belonged to Hunter-Reay.