IndyCar Returns To Portland

Championship Battle Down To 2-Races

Scott Stiller
August 31, 2018 - 12:48 pm
Scott Dixon's No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Joe Skibinski - IndyCar Series

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Portland, OR (93.7 The Fan) - The Verizon IndyCar Series is returning to Portland International Raceway for the first time in over a decade with this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland.  

Championship points leader Scott Dixon led Thursday’s open test with a lap of 58.3593 seconds, 121.153 mph, in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

“We have two races to go now and the points battle is tight, which is what you’ve come to expect in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said Dixon.  “The goal is to get the PNC car up front and win”.

Dixon, Bourdais and Will Power are among the seven drivers with previous IndyCar experience at the 1.964-mile road course.

“It’s narrower than I remember it,” said Bourdais, who won the last race at Portland in 2007.  “The width goes from super-wide to very narrow. It’s probably the narrowest place we go all season.  It’s just a feeling you have to get used to again”.

“Totally different,” said Dixon.  “The track itself is different, the surface is different.  The cars are totally different.  It’s almost like we’re at a new track again”.

Power was second-fastest on the day at 58.3928 seconds, 121.083 mph, in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.  Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden was third at 58.4637 seconds, 120.937 mph, in the No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet.  Power and Newgarden are third and fourth respectively in the championship battle.

“From here on out, it’s important that we get maximum points, and hopefully wins,” said Newgarden.

Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who trails Dixon by 26-points in the championship, was ninth fastest on the speed charts with a lap of 58.7401-seconds, 120.368 mph, in the No. 27 NAPA Honda.

The Portland race winner has gone on to win the IndyCar Championship ten times.

Two practice sessions are scheduled for Friday along with a third practice session on Saturday followed by three-rounds of knockout qualifying.

The green flag for the race drops on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBCSN and can be heard on the IndyCar Radio Network.

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