Indy Lights

Indy Lights: Veekay leads from start to finish in Portland race 1

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PORTLAND, Oregon – Rinus VeeKay led all 35 laps in Saturday afternoon’s Indy Lights race at Portland International Raceway to collect his fourth victory of the season, and first since Road America race 2.

VeeKay, who started Saturday’s race from the pole position, entered the weekend at P.I.R. knowing that if he wanted to remain in mathematical contention for the championship, he needed to stay in front of point leader Oliver Askew.

Still, Askew has a fairly clear road ahead of him to clinch his maiden Indy Lights championship, and VeeKay is aware of that.

However, a win is still a win, and VeeKay had little worries following Saturday’s victory.

“I’m super happy,” VeeKay told NBC Sports. “It’s great to be back in victory lane”.

Like VeeKay, Askew finished exactly where he started in second, a finishing position he didn’t mind settling for.

“I think that was what we needed to do,” Askew told NBC Sports. “We started on new tires so we knew from the start it was going to be hard to get around him.

“We’ll move on to tomorrow. It’s more of an even playing field but the mindset is still the same. We’re here for points. We can go into Laguna and start the car and win the championship.”

Robert Megennis took the third and final position on Portland’s podium, while Toby Sowery and Dalton Kellett finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Race two of this weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader in Portland will take place tomorrow afternoon at 12:35 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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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.