The Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Portland International Raceway for the Grand Prix of Portland after an eleven-year hiatus. The 105-lap race began with a multi-car crash on lap one. Gabby Chaves stayed clear of any contact or debris and was able to immediately bring the #88 up to 11th position after starting the day in 21st. He ran in the top ten for much of the race, finishing the day in 13th.
“We had a clean race through the start. I managed to pick up a bunch of positions early, and we ran inside the top ten for a good part of the day,” said Gabby Chaves. “We struggled a bit on the black tires, so we lost a few positions on track when we were running our stint. We still managed to be in good contention for a top-ten finish. On the last restart I had a good run on TK, but he just didn’t give me any room and I ended up in the grass while trying to defend the next position. After that, I had to give up that position as well. We have been improving the car all weekend and all year, so although 13th is not fantastic, it shows progression, which is good.”
“I’m really proud of the guys. They did a fantastic job all weekend,” said Brian Barnhart. “They battled hard after yesterday’s qualifications put us at the back of the grid. I feel really good that we were able to move up to 13th from where we started. We had great pit stops, the car was decent and Gabby did a nice job. Today was probably one of our best days of executing on the race track, and to make up eight or nine spots from where we started makes us feel pretty good and overall reasonably pleased.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series finale will take place at Sonoma Raceway with the Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, September 16. Practice will begin, Friday September 14, at 11:00 a.m. PT. Green flag will wave at 3:40 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.