RACE NOTES: BITNILE.COM Grand Prix of Portland
6th: RINUS VEEKAY No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
21st: RYAN HUNTER-REAY No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
NEXT RACE: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, September 10 (NBC, 2:30 p.m. ET)
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 20 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Finished 21st: “It ended up being a tough day. It would have been nice to start where we qualified. Unfortunately, starting at the back with the engine penalty put us behind from the start. We tried an alternate strategy that ultimately did not work in our favor. The positive was we had good pace, but downside was we really couldn’t use it today because of how the race shook out.”
• Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified 19th for today’s BITNILE.COM Grand Prix of Portland, but was forced to start 25th after receiving a six-position starting grid penalty for an unapproved engine change. If a full-season entry in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has to utilize a fifth engine during the season, it is considered an unapproved engine change out. The No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet switched to its fifth engine following last weekend’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
• The first full-course caution flag flew on Lap 2 and by then, Hunter-Reay had already moved up four positions. Having completed the mandated distance on red Firestone Firehawks, he made his first pit stop for black tires on Lap 4 and committed to a four-stop strategy.
• Additional green flag pit stops occurred on Laps 32, 57 and 81. With only one more full-course caution, the field became spread out and Hunter-Reay was not able to make up any additional positions despite the strong pace of the No. 20. He finished today’s race in the 21st position.
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet, Finished 6th: “It was very nice to use our speed to move forward! Kudos to the No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet crew! The car felt really good and allowed me to drive aggressively. It really suited my driving style and allowed me to pass cars, which you have to be able to do here. We weren’t incredibly lucky today, we got to the front on pace. Everyone has seen it, we’ve had a very tough season. We’ve not been happy with our pace in general so to be able to make this kind of progress before the end of the season is very nice. A great big thank you to Ed Carpenter Racing! And, it’s great to have my best finish of the season so far at the BITNILE.COM Grand Prix of Portland!”
• The No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet was fast in each practice leading up to today’s race, with Rinus VeeKay turning the 8th, 6th and 7th-quickest laps of each session, respectively. He narrowly missed advancing to the second round of qualifying and rolled off 13th for the 110-lap race at Portland International Raceway.
• In less than two laps, VeeKay had gained four positions. He stayed out on his opening set of red tires until Lap 17. Switching to a set of black Firestone Firehawks, he managed his tires until his next stop on Lap 48.
• VeeKay made several excellent passes, racing solidly up into the 6th position. He stayed there through his third and final pit stop, which occurred on Lap 79. VeeKay slotted back into 6th and held the position through the checkered flag. His result in the BITNILE.COM Grand Prix of Portland is now his best finish of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
- Previous QUALIFYING NOTES: BITNILE.COM Grand Prix of Portland
- Next RACE PREVIEW: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
September 10, 2023
2:30 p.m. ET