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

Indy Lights
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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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Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.