- Rookie Felix Rosenqvist equals season-best result with second-place finish
- Alexander Rossi keeps championship hopes alive with third-place result
- Honda continues to lead Manufacturers’ Championship with one race remaining
PORTLAND, Ore. (September 1, 2019) – Podium results for rookie Felix Rosenqvist and championship contender Alexander Rossi highlighted the Honda effort Sunday at the Grand Prix of Portland. Rosenqvist equaled his career-best finish with a second-place result at Portland International Raceway, while Rossi moved into second place in the season-long Drivers’ Championship, with one race remaining in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series, following his third-place run.
The 105-lap contest got off to a rocky start with a multi-car collision which ended the day for four Honda drivers, including the eighth-starting James Hinchcliffe and his Arrow Schmidt Peterson teammate, Conor Daly, who had started ninth. Just after the race went green on Lap 12, another collision ended the day prematurely for the fourth-starting Meyer Shank Racing driver, Jack Harvey, and sent Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay behind the pit wall for repairs.
Pole qualifier Colton Herta led the opening 36 laps in his Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda, but eventually gave way to Scott Dixon and went on to a fourth-place finish. In search of his second victory of the season, Dixon took his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a three-second lead on the field on Lap 50, but lost power on Lap 52 and coasted into pit lane. A long stop to replace the battery dropped Dixon three laps off the lead and effectively ended his hopes for a sixth IndyCar Series title.
Dixon’s Ganassi teammate, Rosenqvist, moved into second place mid-race and went on to trail race winner Will Power to the checkers, equaling his runner-up result from Mid-Ohio in July. Although not in position to challenge for the victory, a third-place result for Rossi sees him headed to the September 22 season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca second in the drivers’ title fight, 41 points behind leader Josef Newgarden. Meanwhile, Honda unofficially leads the Manufacturers’ Championship by 34 points.
The Verizon IndyCar Series now heads south to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, for the September 22, double-points paying Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. The season-ending race, to determine the 2019 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ championships, will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started seventh, finished third: “It is not that I wanted more [for himself], I just wanted less for [championship points leader Josef] Newgarden. I don’t think we had a race-winning car today, unfortunately. The #27 NAPA Andretti Honda boys did a good job. We maximized what we had. Starting in seventh and finishing on the podium is a good day. We finished in front of our championship rival. It will be pretty intense in California [for the season finale race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca], but I am looking forward to it.”
Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started fifth, finished second, equaling career-best result from Mid-Ohio: “I thought it was a great race for us in the #10 NTT DATA Honda. I think we were stronger than Chevy on fuel mileage. The team really did a nice job. We had really good pace on the [softer compound Firestone] ‘Red’ tires, but Will Power and Penske did a little bit better on [harder compound] ‘Black’ tires. We moved up from fifth to second, and it’s a strong result. We still have another chance to win at Laguna Seca, and that’s what I’ll be focused on in a few weeks.”
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started third, led 11 laps, finished 16th after long pit stop to replace the battery: “Obviously not the result that we wanted with the #9 PNC Bank car. We had a great car, and it was clean sailing out front for us in the lead. The team did a great job. We just lost power and when that happens you can’t shift and you can’t use the clutch. Luckily, we were able to get to pit lane so the crew could get us to the pit box [to replace the battery]. I just hate giving away an easy win like that. Congrats to Felix [Rosenqvist] on finishing second. That’s the second time he’s done that in just the past few races, so good job there. The last two races haven’t been the best for us in terms of luck, but we’ll just focus now on winning at Laguna Seca.”
Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Honda IndyCar Series race in Portland: “It was great to see Colton [Herta] win the pole on Saturday and have another stong race today. He continues to impress us in his rookie IndyCar season, and another Honda rookie, Felix Rosenqvist went to the front today for his second podium finish of the year. It unfortunate that events out of their control ended what could have been great results for Scott Dixon and Jack Harvey, but another podium result for Alexander [Rossi] keeps him in the championship hunt going into the last race of the year in two weeks. The battle for the Manufacturers’ Championship also is going to go down to the final race at Laguna Seca, and everyone at Honda Performance Development will be giving all they have as we work to repeat our title run from 2018.”
NTT IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Portland
Circuit: Portland International Raceway (1.9-mile road course) Portland, Oregon
2018 Winner: Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 102.971 mph average speed
Weather: Sunny, warm, 83 degrees F
Top-10 Race Results:
|1.||2.||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet||105||104.225 mph average|
|2.||5.||Felix Rosenqvist-R||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||105||+2.7885 seconds|
|3.||7.||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||105|
|4.||1.||Colton Herta-R||Harding Steinbrenner||Honda||105|
|5.||13.||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevrolet||105|
|6.||10.||Spencer Pigot||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||105|
|7.||18.||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevrolet||105|
|8.||21.||Matheus Leist||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet||105|
|9.||12.||Sebastien Bourdais||DCR with Vasser-Sullivan||Honda||105|
|10.||22.||Charlie Kimball||Carlin Racing||Chevrolet||105|
Other Honda Results
|13.||16.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Honda||104||Running|
|15.||17.||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||103||Running|
|16.||3.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||102||Running|
|17.||14.||Santino Ferrucci-R||Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||96||Did not finish – mechanical|
|18.||6.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||81||Running – delayed|
|19.||4.||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||13||Did not finish – contact|
|20.||8.||James Hinchcliffe||Arrow Schmidt Peterson||Honda||0||Did not finish – contact|
|21.||9.||Conor Daly||Arrow Schmidt Peterson||Honda||0||Did not finish – contact|
|22.||11.||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||Honda||0||Did not finish – contact|
|23.||15.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||0||Did not finish – contact|