IndyCar Portland: Power wins as Newgarden steps closer to title

IndyCar

Penske’s Will Power took victory in IndyCar’s Portland race, while team-mate Josef Newgarden’s fifth place finish ensures he heads to the Laguna Seca season finale with a commanding championship lead.

Polesitter Colton Herta comfortably headed the chasing pack, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Power in close contention in what became a two-stop race for the majority.

But at one-third distance, Herta was overtaken by Dixon, whose superior traction onto the back-straight allowed the five-time champion to complete the move.

Power, Felix Rosenqvist and Rossi all passing the struggling rookie driver as he battled tyre wear.

With the leaders completing their first pitstops shortly after, Dixon retained the lead ahead of Power once things had shaken out, although Rosenqvist’s Chip Ganassi team ‘overcut’ Rossi to move into third place.

Dixon then began to build his lead in the second stint, enjoying a three-second lead to Power, when his Honda-powered machine suffered from a suspected battery failure at half-distance, forcing him to crawl back to the pits.

But while the team replaced the part, Dixon rejoined down in 16th and three laps down and all but ruling him out of defending his title for a sixth championship.

That meant Power inherited a lead he would never lose, even after a late caution period when Santino Ferucci stopped on the pit straight.

Power crossed the line 2.7s ahead of Rosenqvist, the lead Honda finisher, as Rossi completed the podium.

Herta, who had dropped to 14th after his struggles at the end of the first stint, recovered to take his best result since his maiden victory at Austin in April with fourth.

Newgarden’s fifth place means he now holds a 41-point championship lead over Rossi.

After only qualifying in 13th place, Newgarden was caught up in a Turn 1 melee after Graham Rahal misjudged his braking, collecting Zach Veach and both James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-run cars.

Newgarden was forced to take to the escape road and dropped to the rear of the field, where he was accompanied by fellow title hopeful and team-mate Pagenaud, who was tapped into a spin by Max Chilton.

The Penske pair were handed a reprieve when IndyCar officials reset the race order under the lengthy safety car period, due to a swathe of drivers cutting the chicane at Turn 1, allowing Newgarden and Pagenaud moving up to 11th and 12th respectively.

While Newgarden made progress, Pagenaud became mired in the midfield.

The 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner could only manage seventh, leaving Pagenaud 42 points behind Newgarden with the double-points finale at Laguna Seca to come.

Spencer Pigot impressed once again as he scooped sixth place, his second-best result of the campaign for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Matheus Leist, Bourdais and Charlie Kimball rounded out the top 10, with Marco Andretti’s late gamble on pitting under the Ferucci caution backfiring and leaving the #98 Andretti Autosport-run car in 13th.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 105 1h58m43.0036s
2 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 105 2.7885s
3 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 105 4.5839s
4 Colton Herta Harding Racing Dallara/Honda 105 5.2280s
5 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 105 5.8539s
6 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 105 6.7477s
7 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 105 7.9418s
8 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 105 8.1898s
9 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 105 9.5957s
10 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 105 10.1665s
11 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 104 1 Lap
12 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 104 1 Lap
13 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 104 1 Lap
14 Ed Jones Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 104 1 Lap
15 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 103 2 Laps
16 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 102 3 Laps
17 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 96 Mechanical
18 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 81 Contact
19 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 13 Contact
20 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0 Contact
21 Conor Daly Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0 Contact
22 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0 Contact
23 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0 Contact

Championship standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Josef Newgarden 593
2 Alexander Rossi 552
3 Simon Pagenaud 551
4 Scott Dixon 508
5 Will Power 469
6 Takuma Sato 397
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay 380
8 Felix Rosenqvist 365
9 Graham Rahal 353
10 Santino Ferrucci 339
11 Sebastien Bourdais 335
12 James Hinchcliffe 326
13 Colton Herta 316
14 Spencer Pigot 315
15 Tony Kanaan 276
16 Marco Andretti 271
17 Marcus Ericsson 252
18 Zach Veach 247
19 Matheus Leist 235
20 Ed Jones 203
21 Jack Harvey 164
22 Ed Carpenter 161
23 Max Chilton 150
24 Conor Daly 133
25 Patricio O’Ward 115
26 Charlie Kimball 87
27 Sage Karam 39
28 James Davison 36
29 Helio Castroneves 33
30 Ben Hanley 31
31 Pippa Mann 28
32 Kyle Kaiser 22
33 J.R. Hildebrand 20
34 Oriol Servia 16
35 R.C. Enerson 13
36 Jordan King 12

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