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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WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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