IndyCar: Fast Facts for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland

Portland International Raceway
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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.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practices and qualifying are available on IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on Sirius 121 and XM 209.

Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

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)

Championship facts:

  • 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.

Race notes:

  • 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.

IndyCar champion Will Power completes ‘Victory Lap’ at ceremony in Indianapolis

Will Power Victory Lap
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
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INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power went on his “Victory Lap” last week to celebrate his second career championship as the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion.

It began with several media interviews in Monterey, California, the day after he won the championship with a third-place finish in the Sept. 11 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

From there, it was off to Los Angeles for more interviews and personal appearances that included a VIP Tour at the Petersen Automotive Museum, several appearances on SiriusXM and lunch at The Ivy, where the Team Penske IndyCar Series driver was treated to Wagyu Beef.

“It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life,” Power told NBCSports.com.

From L.A. back to Power’s North Carolina home, near Team Penske’s home base of Mooresville, there was one stop left on Sept. 17 — the Victory Lap Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, an invitation-only banquet where Power and his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew at Team Penske were honored for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

They didn’t even have to check into a hotel and spend another night on the road. Power and his team left on a Team Penske plane from the Statesville, N.C., airport at 4 p.m. ET Saturday to fly to Indianapolis. On arrival an hour later, a limo bus took the team to IMS.

Power led the 2022 season with five NTT P1 Awards for pole, earning the NTT P1 Award as the best qualifier of the season for the fifth time in his career. Power also made history with his 68th career pole, breaking the all-time mark held by the legendary Mario Andretti.

Power and Scott Dixon also became just two of only five drivers to complete every lap of every race in IndyCar Series history.

“What a year,” Power said as he was awarded his personal Astor Cup trophy (the second in his collection after the 2014 championship. “What a phenomenal year coming off one of my worst seasons personally. We came back with a vengeance.

“I want to thank Roger and Kathy Penske for everything they have done for me over the years. I wouldn’t be standing here and have the numbers I have without what Roger has done for me. I’m given a car every week that is capable of winning the pole, races, championships, and Indianapolis 500s. I’m so grateful for that.

“Also, to Greg Penske, you are there every week now at every event and I know we will be in good hands moving forward with the Penske Family.”

There are many on Power’s team and at home, that helped support Power throughout his career. None is bigger than Power’s wife, Liz, who told Power before the season that he would win the championship and break Andretti’s record.

“I must thank my wife. I’m so lucky to have a wife with that crystal ball that can tell me what is going to happen,” Power said. “I can’t think you enough, babe. I love you so much and you have been a big support to me my whole career. We’ve been together 17 years, and I’ve been in the series 17 years. She has been such a huge support to me. The mother of our child and she is a fantastic mother.

“She can’t tell the future. She just had faith in me.”

Liz Power’s premonition came true and that allowed Power and his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet team to celebrate Penske’s 17th IndyCar championship and 42nd title in the racing team’s history.

“The 12 crew this year, I’ve never had such a great group of guys,” Power said. “Trevor Lacasse (chief mechanic) is such a calm guy, but he does such a meticulous job on the preparation of the car. He is very, very good at keeping the whole crew happy. It feels as if there is no pressure on us. That’s a huge part in getting the most out of people. It was our first year together with you as a crew chief. What a great year to start our relationship.

“Dave Faustino (Power’s longtime engineer), we’ve worked together for 15 years. He’s almost like a wife to me, a partner … apart from sleeping together. We have a very good working relationship. Sorry Dave, I’m an awkward person and you are not.

“The things we have been through in our years together, it’s crazy that we continually improve and get better. We are standing on the podium after winning the championship and we are talking about the car, the race, and the tires. We weren’t talking about the championship.

“We never stop. The other boys were laughing at us, but I’m already thinking about next year.

“Ron Ruzewski (Team Penske IndyCar Managing Director and strategist) on the radio, always calm. He has actually made me a calm person. I rarely get upset on the radio anymore.”

Power also recognized the fans who helped boost attendance at many venues on the schedule this season as NBC Sports enjoyed its largest IndyCar audience yet.

“This series is growing,” Power said. “With open wheel racing now so popular because of Formula One, it’s really our time to push and put money behind it and go now and take IndyCar to another level because we have the best racing product in the world.

“I have to thank my teammates and (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric. I can’t tell you how hard we push each other. We are ultracompetitive and love each other and push each other hard, so thank you.”


Power won the championship by 16 points over hard-charging teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second in the standings for the third year in a row.

“Overall, I’m filled with a lot of pride for our team and what we were able to do this year,” Newgarden said in his banquet address. “Any year that you step in the championship, you can easily see the challenges it presents everybody.

“It’s a very difficult challenge for the teams and drivers. To be a part of it, make it through it and for us at Team Penske, to topple it, is a very big deal. We’re all competitive.

“The tough thing about being in a championship fight, especially with teammates is we all want to be the best. That’s how it should be. We are competitive people and want to be the best. But it’s a team sport.

“Will, tremendous season, great, great job. I think the world of everybody on our team. It’s a big group. I’m so happy for all of you on the 12-car crew. There is so much we can take into next year.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was unable to attend the banquet because of the Goodwood Festival in England but sent congratulations to Power via a video message.

“I really want to congratulate Will Power,” Dixon said. “You drove a tremendous season this year. Even with some of the lows that you had, some of the mistakes with qualifying, you bounced back tremendously. I know how tough these championships are and to see you do it in the style that you did it in the last race of the season, massive congratulations.”

Power’s championship formula included one victory, nine podiums and 12 top-five finishes. Teammate Josef Newgarden was second in the championship with five wins but only six podiums.

Cindric saluted Power’s season in accepting the championship team owner award.

“Will, you took it to another level this year,” Cindric said. “You are the complete package. You completed every lap, had nine podiums, finished out of the top 10 just four times, broke Mario Andretti’s record, and you did it all without cussing at the officials on national TV.

“One complaint I do has is while most of us think you might be from another planet, you never told us your wife was a fortune teller.”

Cindric also honored the seasons of Penske drivers Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who won three times in his second full season (“You are one of only two full-time IndyCar drivers that has driven for us in the past 23 years that hasn’t won an Indy 500 or an IndyCar championship. Your time is coming.”).

Kyle Moyer was named team manager of the year (his fifth time and Penske’s sixth). Pennzoil presented Lacasse with the chief mechanic of the year for the first time, the sixth time for Team Penske. The No. 12 crew also won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the most pit stop performance award points in 2022.

Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin delivered nine of Chevrolet’s series-leading 11 victories this season, helping Chevy win the Manufacturer Award for the seventh time since it returned to the series in 2012 and the first time since 2017. Jim Danahy, U.S. vice president, Competition Motorsports Engineering for Chevrolet, accepted the award on behalf of his team.


Christian Lundgaard was honored as the 2022 NTT IndyCar rookie of the year. Lundgaard, from Denmark, scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the No. 30 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He edged David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD by 18 points in the standings for first-year series drivers.

Christian Lundgaard (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

“It’s been a tough season and looking at how it panned out, we struggled so much at the beginning of the season and how we were able to turn it around means so much to me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “It’s the one thing that you only get one shot at. I’m happy to have it.

“Being the first Dane at the Indy 500 certainly helps. Competing here for me is quite important and also special. To win this award and to be here in future years means so much to me. I have a chance to compete for wins and championships.

“This team gave me this opportunity at this track one year ago. We came back and got redemption. We got our first podium here. This year was 40 years ago that Bobby Rahal won the same award. It’s pretty special to keep it among the team.”

Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist was honored as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion after a dominant season for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Lundqvist won a series-high five races in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry and clinched the Lights championship with a race to spare, ending with a 92-point advantage over Sting Ray Robb. HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing owners Henry and Daiva Malukas accepted the team championship.

“I’m very proud of that,” Lundqvist said. “It’s cool to see. We are starting to look to the future, and this might not be doing too bad. It’s been great. As most of you can guess with Henry and Daiva Malukas (team owners), it’s been an incredible journey. So much fun that we’ve had. To be on the grid this year was so much of a struggle for us. I didn’t even know I would be doing this until January.

“To be able to pull out the season that we had, I cannot thank this team enough. We will celebrate this for a long time. I’m so happy and proud about that.”

Outgoing IndyCar Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Geoffrey Billows also was honored as he is leaving that role while battling cancer.

“When I think of Dr. Billows, I think of two words,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “One is selfless and the other is tough. He’s gone through a lot these last couple of years, and he didn’t want anybody to know. He’s an amazing man, and we are very grateful for what you have done.”

Dr. Geoffrey Billows with IndyCar president Jay Frye (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

Billows was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by all drivers in the series as well as other IndyCar officials and dignitaries.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Billows said. “This means so much for me to be part of this family for the past 30 years. I’ve been presented with opportunities I never thought I would ever have. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you guys and care for all of you guys.

“Thank you so much. I want to also thank my wife, Tammy, who has been a pillar of strength as I continue on this journey with cancer for the past two years as well. You will still see me as a consultant because I love this too much to quit altogether.”

When the evening concluded, Team Penske boarded a bus to the airport for the short return flight to Statesville. They were home by midnight.

Power’s Victory Lap was complete.

“The best thing about this is I get to sleep in my own bed tonight,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500