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INDYCAR: How to watch Saturday’s action from Portland

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The NTT IndyCar Series is in the Pacific Northwest this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2019 season, the Grand Prix of Portland.

With the majestic Mount Hood in the distance, Portland International Raceway is a 12-Turn, 1.964-mile natural terrain road course that sits on the former location of the city of Vanport, which was tragically destroyed by a Memorial Day flood in 1948.

Once a mainstay of the CART schedule, open-wheel racing made a triumphant return to P.I.R. last year after an 11-year hiatus. Takuma Sato is the defending Portland race champion.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold will provide live coverage of today’s on-track activity, which includes the final practice, qualifications and the first race of an Indy Lights doubleheader.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 8/31, 2 p.m. ET, IndyCar Practice 1, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 8/31, 4:50 p.m. ET, Indy Lights Race 1, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 8/31, 6 p.m. ET, IndyCar Qualifications, NBCSN and streaming live

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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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