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IndyCar: Bourdais leads first practice at Portland

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Sebastien Bourdais topped opening practice for Sunday’s Portland Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) with a quick lap of 57.3975 seconds, bettering championship leader Scott Dixon by over two tenths of a second – Dixon’s best lap came in at 57.4221.

Josef Newgarden ranked third, and the top three drivers all broke the track record set by Justin Wilson in 2005 (57.597).

Marco Andretti and Will Power rounded out the top five in opening practice.

The session ran uninterrupted until a pair of stoppages in the final minutes for separate incidents. Zach Veach spun off in Turns 10 and 11, but came to a stop without hitting the barriers.

Alfonso Celis Jr., in the Juncos Racing No. 32 Chevrolet this weekend, also spun off in the same area in the final seconds before ending up in the grass off of Turn 11. However, like Veach, Celis Jr. did not hit anything, though his incident did bring the session to an end.

Of note: Dixon’s main championship rival Alexander Rossi ended up seventh, and Carlos Munoz was 22nd for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Munoz is subbing for Robert Wickens, who was transferred to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Thursday, where he will continue to receive treatment for injuries sustained in a crash at the ABC Supply 500.

Pietro Fittipaldi did not set a time as Dale Coyne Racing battle brake issues on his No. 19 Honda.

Also of note: Tony Kanaan, who was 23rd in opening practice, and wife Lauren welcomed a new daughter, Nina, into the world on Friday. Kanaan tweeted the below picture of his new daughter in making the announcement.

Results for Practice 1 are below. Practice 2 is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. ET on Friday.

 

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Tempers flare as Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais collide at Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS — A multicar crash with just over 20 laps remaining in the Indianapolis 500 had tempers flaring Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Graham Rahal angrily confronted Sebastien Bourdais after the two collided while racing for position entering the third turn. As they spun beside each other, Rahal threw his hands up in the air and continued to gesture wildly at Bourdais as their cars came to a stop.

Rahal scrambled out of his car and went directly to Bourdais’ cockpit to scream at the driver before the safety crew arrived. Rahal then yanked off his gloves and threw them in his car after punching the air a few times.

The crash began after Bourdais’ left rear tire hit Rahal’s right front as they entered the corner and Bourdais seemed to come down on Rahal’s line.

“I’m just very disappointed,” Rahal told NBC Sports after being released from the care center. “It’s just another year to sit and think about it. I respect Sebastien as a driver, but I don’t respect that move.

“At those speeds, that’s how you kill somebody. I’m just not a fan of squeezing and putting people in those positions.”

Bourdais climbed out of his car shortly afterward and seemed unhurt. He was cited for avoidable contact by the IndyCar stewards and seemed somewhat remorseful about the move in an interview with NBC Sports.

“I didn’t think he had as much of the car as he did,” Bourdais said. “It’s always a dynamic thing. He got a run, it stalled there for a while, we made contact, and it sets up the whole thing. At that point. I’m just trying to collect the whole thing. It’s always easy to say I should have given up going into the corner.”

Rahal and Bourdais were former teammates at Newman-Haas Raccing.

“He’s been struggling all day,” Rahal said. “I was lifting a little bit to manage my gap. You can see him squeezing me and turns into me, and there nothing you can do. With 20 to go, you have to go. I think Sebastien knows that, which is probably why he hasn’t said much to me.”

The race was red-flagged at 3:17 p.m. on Lap 180 of 200 to clean up the debris from the multicar pileup.