Takuma Sato enters Portland with giant weight off his shoulder

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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PORTLAND, Oregon – It’s a been a great week for Takuma Sato.

The driver of the No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda has worn his title of “Defending Champion” like a badge of honor, as he enters this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland as not only the most recent winner in NTT IndyCar Series competition, but also as the most recent IndyCar winner at Portland International Raceway.

That’s quite the turnaround for a driver who entered the last race at World Wide Technology Raceway with a cloud of negativity following him around.

After being accused of being responsible behind the Lap 1 crash at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago by both fans online and even some of his peers, Sato did not know what kind of reception he would receive from fans at the track going into the final oval race of the season.

Fortunately for Sato, many of the fans he met in St. Louis showed him support.

“I’ve really appreciated all of the people who have supported me,” Sato told NBC Sports. “The last few weeks have been very difficult, so I’m really happy to share all of the excitement and joy with everyone.”

Sato would have plenty of excitement to share with everyone, as he would go on to win for the second time this season, narrowly edging out Ed Carpenter for the victory in exciting finish to last Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

With his redemption victory last weekend, Sato can now sigh a breath of relief before he returns to action and attempts to duplicate last year’s winning performance in Portland.

“We just need to have a strong race,” Sato said. “That’s what we did last weekend. We just did our job, believed in ourselves, and then we went out and came back really strong.

“We’re carrying great momentum, and my team and I are really up for the last two rounds of the IndyCar Series. We had an amazing week last year, so of course I’ve looked forward to coming back to Portland for the whole year.”

Live coverage of the Grand Prix of Portland begins Sunday, September 1 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Saturday’s Supercross Round 5 in Houston: How to watch, start times, streaming info

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The championship race has tightened up as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, for Round 5 of the 2023 season.

With his 450 victory in the Anaheim Triple Crown, Chase Sexton has moved within four points of two-time and defending series champion Eli Tomac.

Jason Anderson is coming off a second place in Anaheim after crashing out of the first two rounds while racing in the top five. Ken Roczen earned his first podium last week since the 2022 season opener and the first for Suzuki since Chad Reed at Detroit in 2019.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 5 of the 2023 Supercross schedule at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023:


(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 5 will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock and will re-air Monday, Feb. 6 at 1 a.m. on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 2:30 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race.

ENTRY LISTS: 450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET):

Here are the start times for Saturday, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

2:05-2:15 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 1
2:20-2:30 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
2:35-2:45 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
2:50-3 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
3:05-3:15 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
3:20-3:30 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 1
4:20-4:30 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 2
4:35-4:45 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
4:50-5 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:05-5:15 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:20-5:30 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
5:35-5:45 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 2
8:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
8:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
8:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
8:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
9:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:33 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:53 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
10:27 p.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUT:

Click here to view the track map

HOW TO WATCH SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IN 2023Full NBC Sports, Peacock schedule

FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


2023 SEASON RECAPS

ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Oakland postponed by storms

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown


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