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Indycar 2021 Tilt the 14th: Grand Prix of Portland


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#1 Risil

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 20:32

JGS-2019-PORTLAND-255764-1-1024x575.jpg

West Coast Swing, baby! Leaving aside the question of whether Western Swing was already taken and/or inappropriate for the final chunk of Indycar 2021, we have at last arrived at, er, the final chunk of Indycar 2021. As the name indicates(?), we have three remaining races in three remaining weeks, at the popular Indycar venues of Oregon and California. But not Sonoma, or indeed Fontana, or indeed Ascot, Pacific Raceways or the California State Fair. Laguna Seca and the transplanted Long Beach are later: this weekend the championship battle will proceed at the track with the chicane, Portland International Raceway.

 

Great news, right? Here's a map of the circuit:

1015x508.jpg

As you can see, it's got a chicane. Not many corners. Some trees, and a strange body of water that doesn't appear to go anywhere that may be called a slough. This is the third edition of the Portland Grand Prix since the track returned, kinda, to the Indycar schedule. The first one in 2018 saw a big crash after the chicane which put Marco Andretti on his lid and Scott Dixon facing backwards. Takuma Sato won the race but Dixon recovered to fifth, and later the championship. 2019 was a straightforward race which Will Power won from Felix Rosenqvist (who?), and 2020 unstraightforwardly didn't happen. So here we are! Third edition! It's 105 laps around the 1.96-mile circuit, which normally takes around 2 hours, or 34 Belgian Grands Prix.

2019.06.25_GPP_singledaytickets.jpg

How's the championship situation? Unusually interesting! Perennial championship contenders Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon are still thereabouts (although Simon Pagenaud and Alex Rossi have dropped off a cliff) but as you may have heard, or witnessed, or counted, the chase for the Astor Cup is led by two new-ish faces, Schmidt-McLaren's Pato O'Ward and Chip Ganassi's Alex Palou. Indycar's points system being what it is, there are still 159 points to play for, which technically leaves everyone down to Rinus Veekay in 11th still in contention, but realistically it's those four plus Marcus Ericsson(!!!) who are still in striking distance. Here's how they lie:

 

1. Pato O'Ward (McSchmidt) 435 points

2. Alex Palou (Ganassi) -10

3. Josef Newgarden (Penske) -22

4. Scott Dixon (Ganassi) -43

5. Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi) -60

 

It's something like 45 points for a win (complicated because they get points for showing up on Friday) so plenty of change is still possible! Form guys are O'Ward (5th at Indy, 2nd at Gateway), Newgarden (8th at Indy, 1st at Gateway) and Will Power (1st at Indy, 3rd at Gateway) but Portland isn't that much like either of those tracks, so take that form book and burn it. Anything could happen! Marcus Ericsson probably won't win! But he might!

12-18-Portland-Skibs.jpg

I don't think there's a better note to end on. Except the schedule, which is very important. The quick version is that the TV starts on Sunday at 3pm ET, 8pm UK time. Here's the long version, local Pacific time:

 

Friday, 10 September is Indy Lights testing and practice for the ARCA support race. No Indycar today!

 

Saturday, 11 September

9am: Indycar practice 1

10.35: ARCA qualifying

11.25: Indy Lights qualifying

12.15pm: Indycar qualifying

1.55: Indy Lights race 1

3.15: Indycar practice 2

4.30: ARCA race

 

Sunday, 12 September

10.30am: Indy Lights race 2

12.42pm: Indycar race

 

Weird schedule, right? Given that some guy on Twitter or Reddit said the whole weekend would be cancelled, just be thankful there's anything at all! Maybe that's good advice for life. Maybe it's not. What I am thankful for is all of your comments. Please deposit them below. Enjoy!



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#2 red stick

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 20:36

Western Swing would have to be through Austin, where  . . .

 

Bob Wills is still the King.    :cool:

 



#3 red stick

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 20:38

Turn One, Lap One.  Whose season will effectively end, right there?   :eek:



#4 prommer

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 20:51

Thank you for the OP, Risil. Somehow you must have fit it in between the cake eating and present unwrapping?

 

I'm fairly flummoxed that Newgarden is only 22 points out.  :|



#5 prommer

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 21:06

Turn One, Lap One.  Whose season will effectively end, right there?   :eek:

 

Ericsson will become airborne and fly through the rest of the race to victory, Oshkosh-style.



#6 red stick

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 21:12

Thank you for the OP, Risil. Somehow you must have fit it in between the cake eating and present unwrapping?

 

I'm fairly flummoxed that Newgarden is only 22 points out.  :|

 

Cue music.

 



#7 sblick

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 21:13

Nice opening Risil thanks



#8 GlenWatkins

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 22:17

 

Great news, right? Here's a map of the circuit:

 

As you can see, it's got a chicane. 

 

Great Job once again, sir!  I don't remember where I found this so I cannot take credit, but I think Fernando would like the chicane in Portland.  I wonder how he would categorize it.  Sorry RS, no cajun.

 


Edited by GlenWatkins, 08 September 2021 - 22:18.


#9 maximilian

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 22:59

FINALLY another IndyCar race!  Can't wait!!  :clap:



#10 maximilian

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 23:00

Turn One, Lap One.  Whose season will effectively end, right there?   :eek:

 

Illott.



#11 krapmeister

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 23:01

Google tells me that for us folk on the east coast of Australia, qualy is at 5.15am Sunday morning and the race is from 5.30am Monday (or more specifically 5.42am as per the schedule in Risil's OP)

Not too crazy viewing times 👍

#12 jonpollak

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 03:37

How is that NOT crazy viewing time????
Jp

#13 krapmeister

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 03:49

How is that NOT crazy viewing time????
Jp


It's not 3am 😅

#14 jonpollak

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 04:50

2hrs of zzzz. ?
I’d still stay up for 3 but not 5.
Jp

#15 Peat

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 08:08

JP, What if I told you that some people go to bed before 10pm...... :wave:



#16 Peat

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 08:12

I watched St.Pete 2016 from Auckland at stupid o'clock.

I was in a hostel so had to set a vibrating alarm and sneak out of the dorm and down into the 'rec-room' downstairs. It was a bit of a mess from the night before so I took to doing a bit of cleaning each time there was an ad break or caution. The cleaning staff were a bit bemused to find i had done 90% of their job when they arrived at 7am and looked so confused when I said I had got up at that time on purpose. 



#17 krapmeister

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 09:30

2hrs of zzzz. ?
I’d still stay up for 3 but not 5.
Jp


Well hopefully I will get about 4 and a half hours sleep or so after watching the Italian GP earlier. IF it was at 3am or so I might have very well stayed up.

#18 JimmyClark

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 09:54

I watched St.Pete 2016 from Auckland at stupid o'clock.

I was in a hostel so had to set a vibrating alarm and sneak out of the dorm and down into the 'rec-room' downstairs. It was a bit of a mess from the night before so I took to doing a bit of cleaning each time there was an ad break or caution. The cleaning staff were a bit bemused to find i had done 90% of their job when they arrived at 7am and looked so confused when I said I had got up at that time on purpose. 

 

They probably thought you were on drugs and doing a post high clean-up  :lol:



#19 Risil

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 10:00

I watched St.Pete 2016 from Auckland at stupid o'clock.

 

From memory, was that Montoya's last victory?



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#20 ANF

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 10:12

I'd love to see Callum Ilott do well, but I think it will be a difficult weekend driving for Juncos with no teammate and only have one practice session on a pretty tricky track.



#21 Peat

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 10:32

From memory, was that Montoya's last victory?

 

All I remember was the Rahal-Rave!



#22 Risil

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 10:49

I'd love to see Callum Ilott do well, but I think it will be a difficult weekend driving for Juncos with no teammate and only have one practice session on a pretty tricky track.

 

Yeah, one practice session before qualifying will be very tricky, especially with a new-ish team like Juncos. Christian Lundgaard qualified astonishingly well at the Indy road course a few weeks ago but he was with a team and crew (RLL third car) that really knows what it's doing. My internal expectations are that I'd be disappointed if Ilott qualifies in the bottom three, hopeful if he cracks the top 20, delighted if he qualifies in the top half of the field.

 

Race will be a learning experience, pretty much no one gets Indycar racecraft right first time. In fact a lot of veterans with 10 years of experience still struggle at times.

 

I reserve judgement on whether Portland is particularly tricky. It's certainly technical, but it's relatively flat and wide and the chicane's problems only become apparent in race conditions. Make a mistake in practice and you can recover quickly and without repairs. There are worse places for a Formula 2 refugee to make a debut, for instance any oval or street course.



#23 ANF

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 11:17

I reserve judgement on whether Portland is particularly tricky.

I've always thought it's tricky in the old Papyrus sims. :)

#24 paulb

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 11:21

Thanks for kicking off the Indycar weekend Risil!

 

I love, love the Belgian GP quip!  :rotfl:

 

The 2018 race was certainly a high-point for me with Dixon's Houdini-esqe escape from the chicane incident.



#25 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 11:27

I never thought about it before, but with a bit of imagination, the track layout actually isn't that far off Monza's.  :smoking:



#26 maximilian

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 11:44

I never thought about it before, but with a bit of imagination, the track layout actually isn't that far off Monza's.  :smoking:

 

Neither is Gateway, if you take the Monza oval   ;)



#27 maximilian

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 11:46

The entry list is dragging its ass, which makes me project that there will be a 28th car making an appearance on the grid this week?


Edited by maximilian, 09 September 2021 - 11:46.


#28 markpenske

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 11:51

The entry list is dragging its ass, which makes me project that there will be a 28th car making an appearance on the grid this week?

 

28 cars barreling down to a tight turn one. We all know what's going to happen, right?



#29 GlenWatkins

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:03

High possibility of carambolage at turn one.

Im hoping that Ilott does well. We know that he has the speed, he should take note on Lungaard's inexperience with managing his Firestones in last race. His goal should be to keep his nose clean & see the checkered flag.

#30 HerbieMcQueen

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:03

28 cars barreling down to a tight turn one. We all know what's going to happen, right?

 

Yes. Dixon will get hit on both sides, have a car flying above him, go backwards through the coned area, and then finish an anonymous but strong 2nd. Before going onto take the championship by the grace of the Kiwi God that seems to follow him around everywhere.



#31 FredrikB

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:07

28 cars barreling down to a tight turn one. We all know what's going to happen, right?

 

Yes, Airicsson will fly ower them and then take the win.



#32 markpenske

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:13

somebody is going to approach turn one way too hot, hop the curb, T-bone Rahal and carnage will ensue.

I predict it will be Hinch or Daly



#33 FLB

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:17

somebody is going to approach turn one way too hot, hop the curb, T-bone Rahal and carnage will ensue.

I predict it will be Hinch or Daly

Well, the cartoon anvil has its favourites (RHR)...  :p



#34 paulb

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:42

somebody is going to approach turn one way too hot, hop the curb, T-bone Rahal and carnage will ensue.

I predict it will be Hinch or Daly

Solid choices. Veekay might be a contender too.

 

I would not want to start mid-pack for this one.



#35 maximilian

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 16:08

The entry list is dragging its ass, which makes me project that there will be a 28th car making an appearance on the grid this week?

 

Crap, I guess not!

 

https://www.indycar....rintonly-V2.pdf



#36 PayasYouRace

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 16:43

Palou has the same livery as Dixon this week. Keep a close eye on who’s who.



#37 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 17:08

Palou has the same livery as Dixon this week. Keep a close eye on who’s who.

 

The most likely way to tell them apart would be the one suffering suprising misfortune vs. the one who somehow seems to escape it.



#38 BRG

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 18:15

Western Swing would have to be through Austin, where  . . .

 

Bob Wills is still the King.    :cool:

 

Good grief, that subverts the very Laws of Nature.  Try playing country at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond back in the day and see what would have happened...


Edited by BRG, 09 September 2021 - 18:15.


#39 loki

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 18:21



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#40 milestone 11

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 18:39

Sky EPG showing qualifying at 20.15 Saturday and the race at 20.00 Sunday. (UK times)

#41 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 18:50

Western Swing would have to be through Austin, where  . . .

 

Bob Wills is still the King.    :cool:

 

 

Doesn't have to be Austin, it's appropriate for Portland too, and even more so for Laguna and Long Beach as well as Sonoma and Fontana. 

 

As interest in Western Swing declined in Oklahoma and Texas, the bands got a second life on the West Coast, where it became popular both with transplanted Oklahomans and Texans, but also with Californians, Oregonians and Washingtonians. Among the Western Swingers on the west coast were Spade Cooley, Johnny Bond...and yes, even Bob Wills, who toured the region extensively and played places like The Cinder Cone in Standish, California.

 

If you want to go down a deep wormhole, look into Spade Cooley's life and trial.


Edited by Jim Thurman, 10 September 2021 - 05:28.


#42 Dolph

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 19:07

Fully red car for Graham. I can't remember the last time a car was so red in IndyCar



#43 prommer

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 19:09

Meanwhile JJ is driving the Minion-mobile.



#44 red stick

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 21:43

Good grief, that subverts the very Laws of Nature. Try playing country at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond back in the day and see what would have happened...


Have you listened to fully a third of Exile on Main Street?

Edited by red stick, 09 September 2021 - 21:46.


#45 jonpollak

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 06:46


Jen Horsey is an icon.
Pato stays at Kimpton.
Jp

Edited by jonpollak, 10 September 2021 - 06:53.


#46 Yoran

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 05:19

Anyone else having trouble to log into the Fantasy game? I am unable to log in, gives me error messages no matter what social account I use via the app

#47 paulb

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 10:05

https://www.youtube....h?v=B8fLl2nYgtk
Jen Horsey is an icon.
Pato stays at Kimpton.
Jp

Good interviews. I really like Pato’s energy.

I may have to copy their picks. They do well.

#48 red stick

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 13:01

3 hours to Practice.



#49 prommer

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 15:58

Now 3 minutes to Practice.



#50 jonpollak

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 16:04

Absolutely Amazing
My gig here in Medford Mass has Peacock on the dressing room TV !!!!!

4741-D507-0-D32-4-D93-9-C8-A-2363-C200-C

Jp