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Power passes Foyt for second on all-time poles list; will lead field to green Sunday

Might as well add Portland International Raceway to the list of Indy car tracks where Will Power has dominated qualifying.

Power had qualified seventh in his two previous races at this track – in 2006 and ’07 – and blitzing today’s Verizon IndyCar Series field gave him 25 tracks where he has won a pole.

Power set a new track record in the first round of knockout qualifying of 57.2143 seconds, eclipsing the previous record of 57.597 seconds set by Justin Wilson in 2005. In the Firestone Fast Six, Power posted a lap 0.3410 seconds quicker than his Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden. This was the third time in the past five qualifying sessions that Power won the Verizon P1 Award with Newgarden second.

If that wasn’t enough, Power cleared A.J. Foyt for second place in career Indy car poles. Power now has 54 career poles, with Foyt at 53. Mario Andretti leads all drivers with 67.

“I need to catch Mario, but I don’t think that will happen,” Power said, laughing. “That’s a lot of poles.”

GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND: Qualifying results

Power also took another step toward winning his second career series championship. The point for the pole moves him within 67 points of Scott Dixon with two races remaining. Power has a golden opportunity to gain on Dixon in Sunday’s race, as the Chip Ganassi Racing driver qualified 11th.

“At the end of the day we have to win (races),” Power said.

Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who trails Dixon by 26 points, has a similar opportunity from the No. 3 starting position. But he, like Power, knows there is a reason the New Zealand driver is a four-time series champion.

“As I’ve always said, (Dixon) can start wherever and he’ll still (finish) in the front,” Rossi said.

That Dixon didn’t qualify well isn’t that much of a surprise. His average starting position this season in qualifying sessions is 8.4 and he has failed to start higher than ninth in the past three qualifying sessions.

Dixon started ninth at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and 13th at Pocono Raceway. But in those two aforementioned races, he finished fifth and third. He would take something of that nature – or better – in the season’s penultimate race.

Sebastien Bourdais bounced back from a crash at the end of the morning’s practice to qualify fourth. He had just turned the session’s fastest lap when he lost control in Turn 10 and slammed into the tire barrier with the rear of the car. The crew of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan repaired the car in less than three hours.

Bourdais said his crew benefitted from being a three-car entry at this race. Rookie Santino Ferrucci joins Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi, another rookie, in this race.

“Without three crews, I don’t think we would have been able to put the car (back) together,” Bourdais said. “It was an incredible effort to recover from my mistake.”

Andretti Autosport put three drivers in the Firestone Fast Six. Ryan Hunter-Reay will start from the fifth position and Zach Veach from sixth (a career best). Veach reached the final qualifying round for the first time this season.

This will be the first Indy car race at the 12-turn, 1.964-mile permanent road course since 2007. Sunday’s race broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Mazda Road to Indy race recap

The Mazda Road to Indy development ladder sanctioned by INDYCAR has doubleheader weekends scheduled for all three levels at Portland. The first race in each series took place Saturday.

  • Patricio O’Ward capped a dominating Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season Saturday by winning for the ninth time in 16 races. He held off Andretti Autosport teammate Colton Herta to secure the series title. The season concludes Sunday with a race at 12:55 p.m. ET.
  • Oliver Askew (Cape Motorsports) won the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires race by 1.3482 seconds over series champion Rinus VeeKay (Juncos Racing). Sunday’s race is at 5:15 p.m. ET.
  • Kyle Kirkwood, who wrapped up the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship a month ago for Cape Motorsports, won the 25-lap race. Rasmus Lindh actually led the first lap, but Kirkwood passed him on Lap 2 and led the rest of the way for his 11th victory of the season. A win in Sunday’s 6:20 p.m. ET race would tie Kirkwood with JR Hildebrand (2006) for the series record for most wins in a season.

Grand Prix of Portland qualifying results

PORTLAND, Oregon – Results of qualifying Saturday for the Grand Prix of Portland Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 57.3467 (123.292 mph)
2. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 57.6877 (122.563)
3. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 57.7361 (122.461)
4. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 57.8881 (122.139)
5. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 57.9699 (121.967)
6. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 58.1057 (121.682)
7. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 57.6429 (122.659)
8. (10) Ed Jones, Honda, 57.6499 (122.644)
9. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 57.7277 (122.478)
10. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 57.7772 (122.374)
11. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 57.8554 (122.208)
12. (20) Jordan King, Chevrolet, 57.9010 (122.112)
13. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 57.9620 (121.983)
14. (6) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 57.6748 (122.591)
15. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 57.9865 (121.932)
16. (19) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 57.7321 (122.469)
17. (21) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 57.9939 (121.916)
18. (39) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 57.7735 (122.381)
19. (4) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 58.0036 (121.896)
20. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 57.7848 (122.357)
21. (88) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 58.1635 (121.561)
22. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 58.0983 (121.697)
23. (32) Alfonso Celis Jr, Chevrolet, 58.2735 (121.331)
24. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 58.2531 (121.374)
25. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 58.3219 (121.231)

‘What They’re Saying’ from Grand Prix of Portland qualifying

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I think for the most part (we got all we could out of the car). I thought we would be top five. I felt like we had that speed, so did Will (Power), for sure. I didn’t know if we would have enough for the pole. I hoped so. We had been there, flirting with that top spot. It was just difficult to read the timesheets with how many yellows (flags) we’ve had, how many checkups we’ve had. I don’t think anyone has posted the best time in practice. We expected to be up there close, at least challenge for it in the Firestone Fast Six. We just had a better car on black (Firestone primary) tires, to be honest with you. Seems like the red (Firestone alternate) tires, we weren’t tuned well enough for. This whole weekend we built ourselves into a box of a better race car. I think our race car is going to be pretty good for tomorrow, but not as strong qualifying on red compound tires. That was our downfall. Missed a tenth or two (seconds) in five, six, seven corners from Will. That’s where he had a little bit of speed on us. But it’s a 1-2 for the team, can’t be disappointed.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Qualifying was difficult. We are just struggling a little bit with the car. We didn’t find a great pace in the setup. We have to keep working hard and try to make the right choices for tomorrow. We’re going to debrief tonight and see what we can do for tomorrow.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): “Honestly, after what happened this morning and really not getting any laps in Practice 3, I’m really proud of the Arrow Electronics guys. We had a lap that was going to make it into the Firestone Fast Six, but I made a little mistake going into Turn 7 – someone dropped a wheel in front of me and I overcompensated. We haven’t been stellar all weekend, to be honest, but we’re starting seventh and we’re right in the mix there. Proud of these guys, proud of the team and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): 
“It’s not the best way to be in the Lucas Oil car, for sure. I know this is Robbie’s (Wickens) car and I just wish him a really speedy recovery. Hopefully, he’s back here soon. I’m thankful to Sam (Schmidt, team co-owner), Ric (Peterson, team co-owner) and the whole team. Everyone has welcomed me with super open arms. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been with the team for a long time now, even though I’ve only been with them for two days, so that’s been really nice. Everyone has been working really hard. I’m thankful to be here and I’m feeling good. Qualifying was a close one, just barely missed moving on to the next round. It’s been one year since I’ve been in the (road course) car, so I’m proud of what we did today.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “We were struggling definitely on the blacks (Firestone primary tires) with the car being really loose, and then we knew going to the reds (Firestone alternate tires) that it would flip flop a little bit. The No. 1 car (Josef Newgarden), came out of the pits, so we aborted the first lap and that’s when the tires are best. Then we actually started to catch him again a little bit, but I think he was trying to back up from someone else. It makes you hit it right with the reds and get the max out of it on one or two laps. You’re going to be out to lunch (if you don’t hit it right), and that’s what happened to us in the PNC Bank car today.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Obviously, it was a tough qualifying session. The first group in Round 1, we were fastest with the NTT DATA car, so that was good. I think the way the track played out, we just may have gone the wrong way with the balance. We just didn’t go enough in the right direction with the balance and that hurt. We just got too much understeer in the car in that second session and didn’t have enough to advance.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): (About if his experience at the track played a role in his speed this weekend): “No, I can’t even remember that far back (laughter). I mean, it’s a very different track. A lot of grip, the car is different. But it’s a lot of fun. Really enjoying it out there. I think it’s the most grip we’ve had all year on a track. Cars are really hooked up.” (About passing A.J. Foyt for second on the all-time poles list): “Yeah, I mean, obviously to be up with names like Foyt, pretty special and humbling. I need to catch Mario (Andretti) now. I don’t think that will happen, that’s a lot of poles. But, yeah, unbelievable. I would never have dreamed of being up there with names like A.J. Foyt.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet):
 “It’s been a difficult weekend for us. We’ve tried absolutely everything we could with the setup since Thursday and nothing seems to give the No. 14 ABC Supply car a direction. I’m not sure exactly what to expect from the race. The only thing I can say is that I’ll give my 110 percent, like always.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): “It’s ultra-competitive, as everyone can see. If you gain a tenth (of a second), you gain four spots. We didn’t have quite enough in the heat. This morning in the cool, the car was pretty hooked up, but in the afternoon, we struggled a little bit. We’re starting 10th in the One Cure machine and we will put our heads down and work hard and try to stay out of the championship battle, but we have a lot to gain too. We can get in the top five in the points, so we’ll be charging.  Tomorrow’s race is a little bit earlier, being a noon start, and it will be a little cooler, track-temp-wise, which will help. You can see that Takuma (Sato) and I ran about the same times. We definitely need to work on improving the cars a little bit and saving the rears (tires) for the race a little bit. I think it’s going to be a physical race, a lot of laps around here with very little break.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team Gorilla Automotive Products Honda): 
“That Gorilla Automotive Products Honda No. 18 crew did an amazing job. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I probably just missed the apex by a foot and got myself in the dirt and that was that. Didn’t realize that line was that narrow, but when I got out of that car I didn’t see a chance that we were going to be able to get back out there (for qualifying), and the entire team, three crews that we have here on site for Dale Coyne Racing and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan pulled it together, and man, it was pretty impressive. The car was as good as it was this morning, so it’s pretty amazing. Hats off to those guys. Hopefully, we can get a good result out of this one.”

PIETRO FITTIPALDI (No. 19 Paysafe Honda):
 “It was a tough group, but that’s not an excuse. I think the No. 19 Paysafe car was good. It was good yesterday in practice and Thursday at the test. We’re just missing that last little tenth. I’m happy with the performance of the car and the Dale Coyne Racing team has done a great job. I’m feeling a lot better than at Mid-Ohio, still a little bit of pain, but I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. It’s a long race and we’ll be pushing to the front.”

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): 
“The first session, we did a good job and I was quite happy with the car. The track really changed between Rounds 1 and 2. I was two or three tenths slower than I was in the first session, so I’m a bit annoyed. We should have been solidly inside the top 10. The difference between blacks (Firestone primary tires) and reds (Firestone alternate tires) seems quite big here, so it will be interesting to see who has a good car on what tire during the race. Portland is good fun.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): 
“It’s frustrating, the car felt a little strange. It just really didn’t have the grip to lean on the fronts (tires) or the rears. I was just all over the place. We really didn’t change the car too much, so we’ll have to look at everything and see what we can do for tomorrow. We’ve been quick at points over the weekend, so hopefully, we can get the car fast again for the race.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): 
“The Menards Chevy is still just super tight. I didn’t have enough speed to make it through to the next round. I just need to keep working on understanding the track and getting the best out of the car. We are starting at the back, but we have some red Firestone (alternate) tires for tomorrow. Some good strategy could bring us back to the front and that’s what we will try and do.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): 
“Obviously, I’m disappointed with how we qualified today. We made some big strides forward yesterday with the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet after Thursday’s test. Even this morning, I was still feeling pretty good with where we were, but we just missed the window on tires and qualifying didn’t go our way. I’m still confident in our race pace and I think with a little bit of strategy we could still come out of Portland with a good result.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group 1001 Honda): 
(About when things have started clicking for him in his rookie season with Andretti Autosport): “I think it’s a little bit of confidence, understanding the car and knowing where the speed is at. I’m very lucky to have the teammates I do. Every weekend they set the bar insanely high. I’m trying to close the gap. Each weekend, it gets easier and easier. You see where that level is going to be, that’s what you strive to get to. I’m lucky. The past three places that we ran at, I think a lot of it’s an experience gap between rookies and guys that have been doing this. I was lucky to test at Gateway, Pocono, here about a month ago. That really helps you get up to speed a little quicker and have a better understanding of how to get towards the top of the charts, I think.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “I think at the end of the day, you have to take the good with the bad and it’s unfortunate. It’s disappointing because I don’t think our car had the pace that Will (Power) did, and he’s been kind of the car to beat all weekend and we’re struggling to find that extra little bit. The positive is, obviously, we are ahead of Scott (Dixon), so we have to maximize that tomorrow as best we can. Hopefully, being on the inside for Turn 1 is a good thing because I know it’s definitely tight down there and it’s a long run down. On the outside, you are exposed and that’s not a good thing. Third is better than second, but definitely worse than first, so we’ll put our heads together and try to come up with a car to run up front.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Thanks to the team, teammates, we’ve been working really well together. We had a good turnaround coming from yesterday. The day before never just really had what we needed from the car. We worked together. Marco (Andretti) has been really quick. We worked with him on a setup for today. He put us on the right track. Thanks to him, as well. Yeah, it was a pretty good day. We went with kind of a funky strategy for the final Firestone Fast Six. Didn’t quite pan out for us. We could race from fifth, though. Should be a good race tomorrow. Interesting to see how it all unfolds and what kind of setup is going to be needed to make these Firestones last.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “We had a very strong package this morning. The car felt good with the changes we made overnight, so we were very positive about qualifying. Obviously, the temperature was very different between practice and qualifying. It was cold this morning and we had a great session, and then in qualifying, it was the hottest so far of the weekend and changed our speed a lot. Unfortunately, the balance wasn’t there and I wasn’t able to clock a fast enough time to progress, so I am very disappointed. There are some places to pass, but it will be very challenging. We will continue to work on improving the car and give it our best effort in the race.”

ALFONSO CELIS JR. (No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet): “Qualifying has finished and Day 2 has gone by. I would say, in general, I am happy with the direction we went in today and the pace we picked up. Even though we did not qualify where we wanted to be, I think we made a lot of progress as a team this weekend. The car is the best it’s been so far. We will keep improving, and tomorrow I think we have some great pace to battle with everyone in the pack. It’s a big step forward, so we will now focus on the race.”

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 39 Cly-Del Honda): “We had a great car, but we unfortunately got caught up in some slower traffic and I couldn’t build more of a gap because I had another car behind me. It’s a shame because I think we could have gone a couple of tenths faster with our No. 39 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda to make it into (Group 2). I feel bad for the guys because they’ve done a great job preparing the car, but it’s a long race tomorrow and we’ll try to get it up front. I think we have something good for the race.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “It’s a very fast, challenging circuit and it’s such a short lap that it’s hard to avoid traffic even with the field split into two groups. We didn’t have the pace coming into qualifying today, so we went red, red for tires (Firestone alternate tires), which we’ve done a few times before this season. I think that strategy has worked well for us because it has put us a few places higher than we would’ve been otherwise. It’s so hard to overtake on this track, so the chance that anyone will move forward that much because they have an extra set of red tires is unlikely, in my opinion. I feel like we made the right strategy call. We’ll keep working tonight and try to find a bit more speed in the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet for tomorrow’s race.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation SiriusXM MSR with SPM Honda): “I had hoped that we could have pulled off a better qualifying result than that. Yesterday, we had a really good handle on the car and I think today it slipped away from us just a little bit. We’ve shown top-10 speed, so not to transfer is pretty disappointing. It’s tough to be on the bubble like that and be the guy to not transfer, but it is going to be our highest start of the year. We are making progress, but just a little disappointed that we couldn’t show our pace in qualifying.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): 
“Frustrated with our qualifying session because we have had a pretty good car all weekend. We were just getting ready to open up our fastest lap, and unfortunately, got traffic right ahead of us and it was really hard to get the right gap. Well, that was it. We have some work to do before the race tomorrow now, so far we’ve had a good car, so we’ll keep positive with that.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 / Curb Honda): “The car today didn’t have the potential that it had yesterday. We were battling with both ends of the car today, and I’m bummed we didn’t stay with the track because we went from running the best all weekend to the worst on the team when it counts. So I’m pretty disappointed, but we’ll come back fighting tomorrow.”

‘What They’re Saying’ from Grand Prix of Portland practice

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Verizon car is really quick. We just kept getting held up today. There were a lot of yellow flags and a lot of people making mistakes. It was difficult to put a lap together. I don’t think Practice 2’s times were relative to our pace, but I think we should be in the top five tomorrow. We have a car to do that. The guys have been working really hard all weekend. I’m excited to qualify tomorrow.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Practice went all right, but the car is still not good enough to run close to the top 10, so we just have to keep trying new things, working hard, and hopefully at some point, we’re going to get there.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): “Fairly productive day. The track here in Portland is a tricky little place. It’s great to be back, first of all, and I think everyone in the series is really embracing the event and the organizers have done a really good job. For 25 Indy cars around a less than two-mile track, it gets pretty busy out there; it’s always tough to kind of get a good lap in. This afternoon, we made some really good improvements in the Arrow Electronics car. Having Carlos (Muñoz) and Jack (Harvey) here has been a huge help at a new circuit to get as much data as possible. Unfortunately, there was a red flag when we were doing our red (Firestone alternate) tire lap at the end, so I don’t think we got to show our true potential today. Obviously, with Jack in the top five, we know what the car can do. We’ll put our heads together overnight to get it even better still, and hopefully, we’ll be fighting for the Firestone Fast Six tomorrow.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): 
“In second practice, I was definitely feeling more and more comfortable with the Lucas Oil car. It’s INDYCAR – everyone is really close to each other (with on-track times). I’m happy with the progression I made from yesterday to today. Yesterday at the test, it was a completely new car for me; it’s been a year since driving it (on the road course). Today was a little rough on my body, getting my muscles used to it, but I think tomorrow I’m going to be even better physical-wise and also with the car. I think we are doing a good job. The car balance has improved a lot compared to yesterday. Jack (Harvey) seems pretty fast, so that’s great for the team. Overnight, we’ll study the data and see where I can learn more.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda):
 “I think it was a strong first day overall here in Portland. We had a good test day here yesterday where we were fastest in the PNC Bank car, so that was a good start for us. I think today really was about getting familiarized with the track again and just putting in the laps. It’s been several years, but it’s great to be back and I’m excited for the weekend.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): 
“I just wasn’t happy with the car in the second session. We’re not where we need to be and we’ll need to go back and really work on where we are tonight before we get to qualifying tomorrow here in Portland. The NTT DATA car should be further up the speed chart and we’ll be working hard to figure out how to get it where it should be.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): 
“Not bad. I think we’ve kind of been in the window with the No. 12 Verizon Chevy the whole time. We just need to look at a few driving details and pick up a bit of time in the first sector. We’ll have a look at it tonight and see if we need to make any adjustments and see what we have tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Tough days. Two very difficult days for us. It seems like we’ve been trying a lot of things and we haven’t found a way yet. I think we have a good direction now, but it’s hard. The last couple days have not been fun…apart from having a baby! That brightens up anybody’s life. We’ve been expecting it for so long. I know people say, ‘It’s your fourth.’ But it doesn’t matter how many there are, it’s still very sweet. I feel very lucky that we have healthy kids-all born very healthy with no problems. When you have a bad day on the racetrack, you have to put life in perspective and believe there are much bigger issues than just having a bad race car and not starting well. Days like yesterday and then being up all night with Lauren (Kanaan, wife) on the phone, and hearing the baby cry and it was a girl, which deep inside, when you have three boys, you kind of hope for a girl, it’s awesome. I don’t think there’s anything this weekend that can make me upset, but I still want to do a good job for ABC and for A.J. (Foyt, team owner). We rebuilt this team quite a bit and we’ve been suffering quite a bit the last few races with some bad luck. Hopefully, we’re building things up and making us stronger for next year.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): 
“It’s a tight field, so it’s a bad weekend to be off slightly. We need to keep working hard. There are no quick and easy solutions. Everyone is trying awfully hard and we’re just missing it a little bit. The track is slightly different, but in most respects, it’s the same. It’s great to be back. These cars are fast around here, they really scream around this track. If you are watching these things in person or watching the onboard cameras, that comes across. We are hauling the mail; just flying around this place.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team Gorilla Automotive Products Honda): 
“It was kind of a two-speed day. The first practice was pretty good. The Gorilla Automotive Products Honda No. 18 was dialed in from yesterday’s test. Then, it got quite a bit warmer in the afternoon. The track temp was much higher and the whole afternoon session was disjointed – red flags, guys leaving the pits not really paying attention and blocking each other. So, it was difficult to get a real read about the car. We had a decent run on the black (primary) Firestone tires, then on the red (alternate) tires, I just didn’t get a read. We did our fast lap on the reds on Lap 6, which is far too late. My teammate, Santino (Ferrucci) was extremely quick and happy with his car on red tires and I am a little too accustomed to not being super happy on reds. We will have to regroup and analyze the data and see what happens.”

PIETRO FITTIPALDI (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): “Today was a tough day for the No. 19 Paysafe crew. We missed the first practice session because we had an issue with the brakes, so we didn’t make it out on track. In the second practice, I think we were good on the black Firestone (primary) tires, within the top 11 or 12. All three Dale Coyne Racing cars had slightly different setups, and when we went on reds (Firestone alternate tires), I didn’t find the grip like my teammates did, but it’s good that we’ll be able to go back and debrief and see what they did different and use it tomorrow.”

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): 
“We made good progress again today. On the black (Firestone primary) tires, we were pretty good. We were up there straight away from the start, only a couple of tenths off. We’re getting there, small bits at a time. I am a little annoyed with the run on red (Firestone alternate) tires. More the warmup process, then there’s traffic and you only get one lap before you have to back off. From my side, it wasn’t the best lap in the world, so there’s a couple of tenths still in the car, for sure. I think a lot of people probably had a similar session to that because there’s a lot of good drivers who were down at the back. We’ll probably be a couple of tenths quicker, but we’ll see if everyone goes quicker, as well. I’d say we’re within the window, so it will be interesting tomorrow to see what we can get out of it. Going into qualifying, I have high hopes.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): 
“We had a fairly decent day. We made some good changes throughout the day. The car we ended with at the end of the second session is the best we had all day, so that’s encouraging. It was really tough to get some clear track out there to validate changes or to put in a good lap. There was so much traffic, it was difficult to get a clear read. Other than that, we did lots of things that made the car better, and hopefully, that trend continues tomorrow.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): 
“It’s super tight, but we’ve made big progress on the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet. I’m quite happy with where we are. We don’t have the balance yet to challenge for pole position, but we are right there. We just have to find a way to give it a little more turn. I think we will have plenty of pace, though.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): 
“From the first lap we ran today, the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet was better than it was yesterday during the test. We worked through a lot on yesterday’s test day and we were able to dig through so much data to come up with a better starting point this morning. Do we still have room to improve? Absolutely, but at the same time we have a solid direction now and we have a really good idea of where we need to go to get stronger throughout the rest of the weekend.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group 1001 Honda): 
“Overall, today was pretty good. I’m a little upset that we didn’t get the most out of our Firestone reds (alternate tires) at the end of the day. I made a small mistake that put us P8 instead of probably in the top three. I think we have a pretty good car and a pretty good chance this weekend, but I need to put it all together.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): ” We made good progress from yesterday to today. We weren’t able to get our fast lap in at the end of the session when we were on reds (Firestone primary tires), which is unfortunate, but I think the car is pretty good. It’s very difficult to pull it all together around here with it being such a short lap. We’re going to have to keep moving forward and stay on top of the conditions, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Today was just one of those days when absolutely nothing went right, especially during the second session with new red (Firestone alternate) tires. We weren’t able to get a good run on them. Cars kept coming out in front of us on track, and we weren’t able to get our run going or able to do anything with it. I think right now we’re about a P7 car and that’s not going to cut it. We need to go back to the drawing board tonight and make sure the DHL machine has a shot at the pole tomorrow.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “It was a mixed day today. After a good day yesterday where we got more understanding of the car and the track, this morning I felt pretty positive, the car was competitive. We were comfortably in the top 10, there were a lot of 57.8’s, and we were only a couple of tenths off of the leader and that was quite encouraging. The balance was good, too. We tried to improve the balance of the car for this afternoon, and of course, it was in warmer temperatures and a hotter track. The temperature made the car have less grip, but not only that, it didn’t feel as good as this morning. We need to look at the data. Both cars also underperformed on the red (Firestone alternate) tires. Luckily, we have one more day to work on it before the race, so hopefully, tomorrow is a better day. This is a fantastic track. It’s a little road course, but it is quite challenging. You need a lot of commitment. It’s a busy track, especially considering you have two long straights. There are so many corners together. It’s just nonstop, constant work. It’s a great track. We had a good autograph session today. There were so many fans here and they were so enthusiastic that INDYCAR is back. It’s a great venue and it’s so close to downtown, which has great food and a great atmosphere.”

ALFONSO CELIS JR. (No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet): 
“Today we learned a lot. We have some things to work on and figure out for tomorrow. We will go back and analyze the data and make some decisions for our setup. I look forward to improving in qualifying tomorrow.”

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 39 Cly-Del Honda): “I can’t thank Dale (Coyne) enough for giving me this opportunity. The team has done a great job preparing the No. 39 Cly-Del car. They’ve been working really hard the past couple of weeks because it’s been back-to-back-to-back. I’m very happy with how today went. We were really quick on the Firestone red (alternate) tires, but on the blacks (Firestone primary tires), there’s still some work to do.” (About his thoughts on the track): “Learning the track has been a bit of a challenge, but it’s been nice to have Sebastien (Bourdais), who coached me, with which lines to take. The track is also really challenging because you have so many people on track within a short distance, plus it’s a really quick track and extracting every little hundredth and thousandth of a second that you can is making the difference here. I can’t thank the guys enough, they’ve given me a really good car so far, and hopefully, we can keep going in that direction the rest of the weekend.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “We made a big step forward overnight after our test day here yesterday. It might not necessarily show in the timing sheets after that last practice session, because the reds (Firestone alternate tires) just come in so quick, and we caught traffic when I was on my quick laps. I’m not exactly sure where we are with the red tires, but I think we’re better than where the timing sheets are showing us position-wise. Like I said though, we made a pretty sizable change on the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet after yesterday and I think it’s probably one that we should’ve done all year. I feel like we’re in a better position than we’d originally thought we’d be. With how short of a lap it is here, everything is critical and it’s all very close.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation SiriusXM MSR with SPM Honda): 
“Honestly, I think we have been quite OK since we got here. That last session we hovered around 10th and then ended the day P5. The track is awesome, I can’t believe we haven’t raced here in so long. Portland, the city, has been good fun as well. There are just a lot of positive vibes around us right now. I try not to get too carried away, but it is nice to take the time and enjoy the result. The whole team has done a great job, and we have consistently improved and we will try and do the same tomorrow.

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “Productive day, we made some good changes and ended the day with a solid run of seventh. Very happy with that, so looking forward to practice and qualifying tomorrow. I’ll try to do a really good job at nailing a quick lap time. The field is so tight that it’s going to be really important to make sure we hit everything as perfect as we can to execute a perfect lap in qualifying.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 / Curb Honda): “We’ve been in the top four all weekend and the car is particularly good on reds (Firestone alternate tires). I think we can still make a small improvement, but I think we have enough to make it into the Firestone Fast Six tomorrow. We’ve been guessing correctly with the balance between the blacks (Firestone primary tires) and reds, and that makes it fun for me because we’re kind of hitting it on both compounds, and I think if we follow the track correctly, we can have a shot at pole.”

Grand Prix of Portland Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, Aug. 31 – Sunday, Sept. 2 Track: Portland International Raceway, a 12-turn, a 1.964-mile road course in Portland, Oregon Entry List: Grand Prix of Portland (PDF) Race distance: 105 laps / 206.22 miles Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation. Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams…

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Power finds sweet redemption with victory at Gateway Motorsports Park;’What They Are Saying’; Results

MADISON, Illinois (Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018) – Will Power went from worst to first at Gateway Motorsports Park in the span of a year and moved into closer contention for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship in the process. BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500: Official results Charging hard from the start, Power took control over the final…

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‘What They’re Saying’ from Bommarito Automotive Group 500 practice

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): (About if any information from last year’s victory can translate to this year’s race, despite the new aero kit): “Well, we try to use as much as we can. Obviously, last year was our first year back. It was a new track surface. It hasn’t changed much, which…

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Rain cancels Gateway qualifying; points leader Dixon will start first

MADISON, Illinois (Friday, Aug. 24, 2018) – It’s not the way he wanted to earn the top starting position, but Scott Dixon will gladly lead the field to the green flag in Saturday night’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline. Verizon P1 Award qualifying was canceled Friday at Gateway Motorsports Park after…

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INDYCAR, Texas Motor Speedway announce four-year contract extension

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018) – INDYCAR and Texas Motor Speedway announced a four-year extension agreement today for the Verizon IndyCar Series to continue racing at the 1.5-mile superspeedway through 2022. The 2019 Verizon IndyCar Series race at the oval in Fort Worth, Texas, is scheduled to be run under the lights once again, on…

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Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, Aug. 24 – Saturday, Aug. 25 Track: Gateway Motorsports Park, a 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois Race distance: 248 laps / 310 miles Entry List: Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline (PDF) Firestone tire allotment: Eleven sets for use throughout the weekend Twitter: @GatewayMSP @IndyCar, #Bommarito500, #IndyCar Event website: INDYCAR website: 2017 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No….

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