IndyCar Portland start times: The NTT Indy Series will begin a three-race, 1,000-mile march down the West Coast this weekend at Portland International Raceway that will conclude the 2021 season and crown the champion of a typically tight points race.
Pato O’Ward has claimed a 10-point lead by capitalizing on a costly Gateway crash for Chip Ganassi Racing as teammates Alex Palou and Scott Dixon each tumbled a spot in the standings. It’s the fourth-closest margin with three races remaining since 2008 (the average lead has been 31.7 points with three races left during that span).
Palou is in second after consecutive DNFs eradicated a championship lead that once was 42 points, and Dixon has dropped to fourth after back-to-back finishes of 20th or worse.
IT'S CHAMPIONSHIP MONTH. 🏆
— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) September 1, 2021
Meanwhile, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden has surged to third (22 points behind O’Ward) with two victories in the past four races. Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson lurks in fifth and remains among the big-name drivers who have yet to confirm plans for next year as IndyCar Silly Season remains in high gear.
F2 race winner Callum Ilott (for Juncos Hollinger Racing in its 2021 debut) and Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), who are both candidates for open seats, will be in the 27-car field at Portland as the 2022 driver lineup continues to crystallize.
Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the weekend at Portland (all times are ET):
Grand Prix of Portland
TV: 3 p.m. ET, Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Kevin Lee and Kelli Stavast are the pit reporters.
COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:35 p.m. ET
GREEN FLAG: 3:42 p.m. ET
DISTANCE: The race is 110 laps (216.04 miles) on a 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course in Portland, Oregon.
PRACTICE: Saturday, noon-1:15 p.m., 6:15-6:45 p.m. (Peacock Premium)
QUALIFYING: Saturday, 3:15 p.m. (Peacock Premium)
TIRE ALLOTMENT: Six sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race. (Note: A seventh set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)
PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower.
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 68 degrees with a 1% chance of rain at the green flag.
Weekend schedule for the IndyCar GP of Portland
(All times ET)
Noon-1:40 p.m.: Indy Lights Test Session I
2:50-4:45 p.m.: Indy Lights Test Session II
5-5:45 p.m.: ARCA Menards West practice
6-6:35 p.m.: Indy Lights practice
6:50-7:20 p.m.: ARCA Menards West practice
7:35-8 p.m.: Indy Lights qualifying, Race 1
Noon-1:15 p.m.: IndyCar practice, Peacock Premium
1:35-2:05 p.m.: ARCA Menards West qualifying
2:25-2:55 p.m.: Indy Lights qualifying, Race 2
3:15-4:30 p.m.: IndyCar qualifying (three rounds), Peacock Premium
4:55-5:55 p.m.: Indy Lights, Race 1, Peacock Premium
6:15-6:45 p.m.: IndyCar final practice, Peacock Premium (live)
7:30 p.m.: ARCA Menards West race
1:30-2:30 p.m.: Indy Lights, Race 2, Peacock Premium
3:05 p.m.: IndyCar driver introductions
3:35 p.m.: Command to start engines
3:42 p.m.: Grand Prix of Portland (110 laps/216.04 miles), NBC
COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM:
ROUND 8: Pato O’Ward wins, takes points lead
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 1: A 19th at Barber Motorsports Park
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 2: Tough day for the No. 48
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 3: Making progress in a 24th-place finish
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 4-5: Challenging weekend in Detroit
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 6: One mistake at Road America
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 7: A fun day at Mid-Ohio
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 8: A bump but still having a blast at Nashville
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 9: Best race of the season at Indy