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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.

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.