The NTT IndyCar Series has reached the West Coast for its two-week closing stretch to end the 2023 season, starting with Sunday's BitNile.com Grand Prix of Portland.
Championship leader Alex Palou enters the race with a 74-point lead over Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, who shaved 27 points off the margin with his second consecutive victory Sunday. With the elimination of Josef Newgarden at World Wide Technology Raceway, the title will belong to Ganassi for the third time in four years.
Palou won his first title in 2021, and Dixon won his sixth in '20. Palou will clinch his second championship if he can maintain a 54-point lead after Portland.
With several rides still unconfirmed for the 2024 season, there were two driver changes announced for Portland and the Sept. 11 season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Tom Blomqvist, who is moving full time to IndyCar with Meyer Shank Racing next year, will replace Simon Pagenaud (who continues his recovering from his July 1 practice crash at Mid-Ohio) in the No. 60 Dallara-Honda. Juri Vips will make his IndyCar debut at Portland in the No. 30 Dallara-Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Scott McLaughlin is the defending winner at Portland.
Here are the details and start times for the IndyCar BitNile.com Grand Prix of Portland (all times are ET):
INDYCAR BITNILE.COM GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND START TIMES
TV: The broadcast will begin Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. Kevin Lee and Dillon Welch are the pit reporters. Click here for the full NBC Sports schedule for IndyCar in 2023.
POSTRACE SHOW ON PEACOCK: After the race’s conclusion, an exclusive postrace show will air on Peacock with driver interviews, postrace analysis and the podium presentation.
INDYCAR RADIO NETWORK: Mark Jaynes is the announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton; turn announcers Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young; and pit reporters Alex Wollf, Joel Sebastianelli and Georgia Henneberry. The IndyCar and Indy NXT practice, qualifying and race sessions will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 160, racecontrol.indycar.com and the IndyCar app powered by NTT Data.
COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:23 p.m. ET
GREEN FLAG: 3:30 p.m. ET
RACE DISTANCE: The race is 110 laps (216.04 miles) on a 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course in Portland, Oregon.
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 66 degrees at the green flag with an 11 percent chance of rain.
PRACTICE: Friday, 6 p.m. ET (Peacock), Saturday noon ET (Peacock), 8:15 p.m. ET (Peacock)
QUALIFYING: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Peacock),
INDY NXT RACE: Sunday, 1:20 p.m., Peacock
INDYCAR BITNILE.COM GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND WEEKEND SCHEDULE
(All times are ET)
Thursday, Aug. 31
3-4 p.m.: USF2000 test
4:15-5:15 p.m.: USF Pro 2000 test
5:30-6:30 p.m.: USF2000 test
6:45-7:45 p.m.: USF Pro 2000 test
8-9 p.m.: Track walk
Friday, Sept. 1
Noon-12:30 p.m.: USF2000 practice
12:45-1:15 p.m.: USF Pro 2000 practice
1:30-2 p.m.: United States Touring Car Championship practice
4:55-5:40 p.m.: Indy NXT practice
6-7:15 p.m.: IndyCar practice (Peacock)
7:30-8:15 p.m.: USF2000 Race 1
8:30-9:20 p.m.: USF Pro 2000 Race 1
9:35-10:05 p.m.: USTCC qualifying
Saturday, Sept. 2
Noon-1 p.m.: IndyCar practice (Peacock)
1:15-2 p.m.: USTCC Race 1
2:20-3:05 p.m.: Indy NXT practice
3:30-5 p.m.: IndyCar qualifying (Peacock)
5:15-5:55 p.m.: USF2000 Race 2
6:10-7 p.m.: USF Pro 2000 Race 2
7:25-7:45 p.m.: Indy NXT qualifying
8:15-8:45 p.m.: IndyCar practice (Peacock)
9-9:45 p.m.: USTCC Race 2
Sunday, Sept. 3
1:20 p.m.: Indy NXT race, 35 laps or 55 minutes (Peacock)
2:40 p.m.: IndyCar driver introductions
3:30 p.m.: IndyCar BitNile.com Grand Prix of Portland, 110 laps/ 216.04 miles (NBC, Peacock)
6:15-7:05 p.m.: USF Pro 2000 Race 3
7:20-8 p.m.: USF2000 Race 3
2023 SEASON RECAPS
ROUND 1: Marcus Ericsson wins wild opener in St. Petersburg
ROUND 2: Josef Newgarden wins Texas thriller over Pato O’Ward
ROUND 3: Kyle Kirkwood breaks through for first career IndyCar victory
ROUND 4: Scott McLaughlin outduels Romain Grosjean at Barber
ROUND 5: Alex Palou dominant in GMR Grand Prix
ROUND 6: Josef Newgarden wins first Indy 500 in 12th attempt
ROUND 7: Alex Palou wins from the pole in downtown Detroit
ROUND 8: Alex Palou rebounds from crash to win Road America
ROUND 9: Alex Palou charges to Mid-Ohio victory
ROUND 10: Christian Lundgaard earns first career victory in Toronto
ROUND 11: Josef Newgarden extends Iowa record with fifth victory
ROUND 12: Josef Newgarden completes sweep of Iowa weekend
ROUND 13: Kyle Kirkwood earns second street course victory
ROUND 14: Scott Dixon wins to keep streak intact
ROUND 15: Scott Dixon goes two in a row, closes on Palou
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