Here’s what you need to know about this week’s Grand Prix of Portland, the second-to-last race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season:
Grand Prix of Portland Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, Aug. 31 – Sunday, Sept. 2
Track: Portland International Raceway, a 12-turn, a 1.964-mile road course in Portland, Oregon
Entry List: Grand Prix of Portland (PDF)
Race distance: 105 laps / 206.22 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race.
Twitter: @Portland_GP, @IndyCar, #PortlandGP, #INDYCAR
Event website: www.portlandgp.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
Most recent race winner (2007): Sebastien Bourdais (No. 1 McDonald’s Racing Team Panoz DP01/Cosworth)
Most recent pole winner (2007): Justin Wilson (No. 9 CDW R Sports Panoz DP01/Cosworth), 58.000 seconds, 121.903 mph
Qualifying record: Justin Wilson 57.597 seconds, 122.756 mph, June 18, 2005
NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 1 (same-day delay); Race, 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 2 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Ryan Myrehn and Michael Young reporting from the pits. The Grand Prix of Portland race airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 98, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practices and qualifying are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on Sirius 121 and XM 209.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Thursday, Aug. 30 (Verizon IndyCar Series open test)
10:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Open test session #1 (no streaming)
3:25 – 5:55 p.m. – Open test session #2 (no streaming)
Friday, Aug. 31
10:45 – 11:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
2:35 – 3:35 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3:40 – 4 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
Saturday, Sept. 1
11:10 – 11:55 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3:20 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET, same-day delay)
Sunday, Sept. 2
11:30 a.m. – Driver introductions
12:02 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:09 p.m. – Grand Prix of Portland (105 laps/206.22 miles), NBCSN (live)
- Scott Dixon leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with two races to go for the second time in his career. He also led the championship with two to go when he won the title in 2008. Dixon has led the championship since his win at Texas Motor Speedway on June 9.
- Scott Dixon leads Alexander Rossi by 26 points with Will Power (-68) and Josef Newgarden (-78) just behind. With 54 maximum points available at Portland, the points lead could change for the eighth time in 2018.
- There are five drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Any driver who trails the points leader by 105 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.
- The Portland race winner has gone on to win the Indy car championship 10 times: Bobby Rahal (1987), Danny Sullivan (1988), Emerson Fittipaldi (1989), Michael Andretti (1991), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1998), Gil de Ferran (2000), Cristiano da Matta (2002) and Sebastien Bourdais (2004 and 2007).
Key championship point statistic: Since 2008, the driver who has led the championship with two races to go has failed to win the championship five times. Scott Dixon in 2008, Dario Franchitti in 2011, Will Power in 2014, Simon Pagenaud in 2016 and Josef Newgarden in 2017 are the exceptions who have won the title after leading with two races remaining.
Point differential: The 26 points which separate Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi is the fifth-largest margin with two races remaining since 2010. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who trailed Will Power by 36 points with two races remaining in 2012, and Dixon, who was 34 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya in 2015, have overcome a larger deficit to win the championship. Dario Franchitti overcame a 25-point deficit to Ryan Briscoe in 2009. The average deficit with two races to go since 2007 is 23.54 points.
Championship-eligible drivers’ results at Portland: Three of the five championship-eligible drivers have raced an Indy car at Portland International Raceway at least once – Scott Dixon, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay…Power has the best finish among the contenders, finishing fourth in 2007, while Dixon finished seventh in 2002 and 2003. Hunter-Reay’s best finish in three starts is 12th.
- There have been seven different winners in the 15 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Pocono Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and Gateway Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1, Texas Motor Speedway and Streets of Toronto), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and James Hinchcliffe (Iowa Speedway). Dixon’s win at Toronto on July 15 was his 44th career win, which ranks third on the all-time Indy car victory list. Bourdais’ win at St. Petersburg on March 11 was his 37th, which ranks sixth all-time. Power’s win at Gateway on Aug. 25 was his 35th and tied Bobby Unser for seventh on the all-time Indy car victory list.
- The Grand Prix of Portland will be the 25th Indy car race at Portland International Raceway, but the first since Sebastien Bourdais won the Champ Car World Series race in 2007. Al Unser Jr. won the first Indy car race at Portland in 1984. Bourdais, who also won in 2004, is the only former winner entered in this year’s race.
- Six drivers have won at Portland International Raceway from the pole – Danny Sullivan (1988), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Max Papis (2001), Cristiano da Matta (2002) and Sebastien Bourdais (2004).
- Team Penske has won five times at Portland International Raceway. Penske’s winning drivers are Danny Sullivan (1988), Emerson Fittipaldi (1993), Al Unser Jr. (1994 and 1995) and Gil de Ferran (2000). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins at Portland with Alex Zanardi in 1996 and 1998. Newman/Haas Racing won a record eight times at Portland.
- Seven drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Portland International Raceway. Sebastien Bourdais has five starts, most among the entered drivers. Two entered drivers have led laps at the track (Sebastien Bourdais 146 and Will Power 3).
- Graham Rahal scored the first win of his professional racing career at Portland, winning the Pro Mazda race in 2005. James Hinchcliffe claimed his first Atlantics Championship win in Portland in 2006.
- Seven rookies – Alfonso Celis Jr., Santino Ferrucci, Pietro Fittipaldi, Jack Harvey, Jordan King, Matheus “Matt” Leist and Zach Veach – are expected to compete.
- Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 299th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 239 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 215 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.