S2E32 - Race Report: Portland
Warm Up Tires
1. News 1:33
2. Portland 8:45
3. Brickyard 44:47
Ricardo Juncos recently gave an interview to Motorsport.com regarding the future of Juncos Racing. Ricardo indicated that the INDYCAR team will be going to two cars next year. He also expressed concern that the ladder series is still lacking a title sponsor and that may influence their decisions regarding their IndyLights team. Interesting comments from Ricardo (who is always up front which is quite refreshing). Having a two-car team is very valuable even though it’s more expensive. You can attempt two types of setups on the cars and have a good avenue to share information. As to the issue with the ladder series, they should announce the replacement as quickly as they can.
After Gateway – Honda won the manufacture’s championship.
It was announced Thursday that Robert Wickens was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for the remainder of his recovery and recuperation following the crash at Pocono. It was also subsequently announced that Schmidt Peterson Motorsport will have Carlos Munoz drive the #6 for the rest of the season (Portland and Sonoma).
As far as new, or potentially new drivers, are concerned: Harding will have recent IndyLights champion Patricio O’Ward and standout Colton Herta drive their cars at the season finale in Sonoma. Which means (a) Harding had the money for two cars, and (b) they’re fielding two cars and Gabby Chaves is in neither of them. Also on September 5, 2018, Fernando Alonso will be testing at Barber Motorsports Park in an Andretti Autosport car, the test is closed to media and public (and was the least kept secret among INDYCAR fans)
The Schedule was released on September 4, 2018. Nothing that was unexpected, but we're already planning our 2019 Trips.
Portland Grand Prix
What an amazing weekend in Portland! INDYCAR fans in the Pacific Northwest (both diehard and the causal fans) showed up and showed spirit. It was amazing and glad to see the race will be on the schedule next year. The race was everything an inaugural race in Portland should be: unexpected, entertaining, and a little weird. I don’t think anyone way a podium of Takuma Sato, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastian Bourdais at the start of the week. No one thought Bourdais would be up there following his car having to be rebuilt between practice Saturday morning and qualification Saturday afternoon. That’s a great story.
Technically the race made it through Turn 1, with the crash happening between Turns 2 and 3. And whoa what a crash, and again how in the world did Scott Dixon escape all that and come to a stop without any damage!? Scott has great luck, Will Power had no luck (or as Molly’s mom said “if it wasn’t for bad luck, he’d have no luck at all”). Drivers were passing, including some fun synchronized passing that made aerial shots very pretty.
The leaders and the points standings is pretty much where it was entering into this race, so we’re all looking at double-point Sonoma.
Weekend Fun Recap
Aside from the race, we again covered IndyCar Nation’s Twitter and participated/held a few events for IndyCar Nation members and all INDYCAR fans in general. During the autograph session we were joined by Cara Adams (Chief Engineer for Firestone) and Dr. Geoffry Billows (INDYCAR Medical) who chatted with us about their background, some fun stories from their travels, and deeper topics. We’re hoping to have that audio released in the next week or so, or if not a summation of the discussion.
Since we were in a new city we took some opportunities to explore including eating on the Columbia Thursday night, and then Friday night eating at the Kennedy School. Highly recommend both spots.
Mazda Road to Indy Champions
The Mazda Road to Indy (last time we can say that) crowned its champions this season at Portland International Raceway. With the championship comes a scholarship to help the individual step into the next rung – or into Indycar:
· USF 2000 - Kyle Kirkwood
· Pro Mazda - Rinus VeeKay
· Indy Lights - Patricio O’Ward (as the winner of Indy Lights he’ll receive a scholarship that covers a few INDYCAR races, including an entry for the Indianapolis 500).
We switch gears for just one week here and will be covering the NASCAR Florida Georgia Line Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The fun for us starts on Wednesday with the BC39 dirt track racing being held in Turn 3 of the IMS both Wednesday and Thursday night. We’re excited to cover some dirt track racing as nothing is more primal and the true start of racing then dirt tracks, and for it to be at the IMS is even better. Stay tuned to our social media platforms as we’ll be going from day jobs to the track all week (much like in May).
As always thank you for listening. Let us know (you can contact us right through the website actually!) if you have anything you want to hear about in the off season, there’s nothing we enjoy more than a deep dive down the information rabbit hole.