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IndyCar: Bourdais leads Practice 3, but crashes in the final minutes

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Sebastien Bourdais went quickest again in Practice 3 for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN), turning a lap of 57.4707 seconds, only to then spin off the track right after doing so.

Bourdais, who jumped ahead of Graham Rahal to take the top spot as the session neared its conclusion, lost control of his No. 18 Gorilla Automotive Products Honda in Turn 10 and backed into the tire barrier.

Bourdais’ was not the only incident of the session. James Hinchcliffe brought out a red flag with roughly 30 minutes remaining after nosing into the tire barriers exiting the Festival Curves. Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda broke loose exiting Turn 2 and slid off the track approaching the exit of Turn 3. Hinchcliffe ranked 25th at the end of the session.

The incidents for Bourdais and Hinchcliffe brought out the only stoppages of the session.

Graham Rahal, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, and Takuma Sato rounded out the top five for Practice 3. Other notables include championship leader Scott Dixon in 11th, along with Spencer Pigot (sixth), Marco Andretti (eighth), and Carlos Munoz (15th).

Results are below. Qualifying begins at 6:20 p.m. ET (3:20 local time), and airs on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET.


Will Power, Roger Penske collect Indy 500 trophies

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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DETROIT (AP) Last year, Will Power finally broke through and won the Indianapolis 500, so he can cross that accomplishment off the list.

Now 37, Power is reaching an age when it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll keep at it.

“I’m really enjoying my racing. I’ve never been so motivated. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, mentally on the game,” Power said. “I think once you get to this part of your career, you realize that you’re not going to be doing this forever. So you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to go for it when you’ve got it, because, you know, probably only another five years at maximum, and you’re retired.”

Whenever Power’s career does wind down, his 2018 Indy 500 win will remain a moment to remember. He was in Detroit on Wednesday night with team owner Roger Penske for a ceremony in which they received their “Baby Borg” trophies for winning last year’s race. The Baby Borgs are replicas of the Borg-Warner Trophy that honors the Indy 500 winner.

Power finished second at Indy in 2015, and his victory last year made him the race’s first Australian winner. It was Penske’s 17th Indy 500 win as an owner, part of a banner year for him. Penske also won a NASCAR Cup title with driver Joey Logano.

“When you think about 2018, we had 32 race wins, 35 poles. I think we led almost 5,400 laps, with all the series,” Penske said.

On Wednesday, Penske collected another significant trophy, and he’ll be celebrated again in a couple weeks. He’s being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 1.

“It’s amazing that a guy from the north can get into the Hall of Fame in the south,” Penske joked. “No, it’s special. … NASCAR has helped us build our brand over the years, certainly, with the reputation it has, and the notoriety we get, being a NASCAR team owner.”

Penske’s most recent Indy 500 title came courtesy of Power, who long preferred road courses to ovals but certainly looked comfortable at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year.

“The 500 was one record that he didn’t have, and I think you saw the excitement he and his wife, and the whole team, when he was able to win the race,” Penske said. “He’s probably the best qualifier we’ve ever had, as a road racer, and no question his expertise. He didn’t like ovals to start with, but I think today, he loves racing on ovals.”

Power seems content with all aspects of his racing life at the moment. The aftermath of an Indy 500 victory can be a whirlwind, and it would be understandable for a driver to be weary of it eight months later, but for Power, it’s a new experience.

“I’ve been looking forward to this event for a few months now, to actually get the Baby Borg. You have the face on it – I didn’t realize that, you actually get your own face on it,” Power said. “It makes you realize the significance of the event, when you think about all the things that come with winning the 500.”

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