RACE PREVIEW: Grand Prix of Portland



TRACK: Portland International Raceway
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon, USA
TRACK LAYOUT: 12-turn, 1.964-mile natural road course
RACE LENGTH: 110 laps/216.04 miles

PRACTICE: Friday – 2:30-3:45 p.m. PT (Peacock Premium);
Saturday – 9-10 a.m. PT (Peacock Premium), 4:15-4:45 p.m. PT (Peacock Premium)
QUALIFYING: Saturday – 12:05-1:20 p.m. PT (Peacock Premium)
RACE: Sunday – 12:30 p.m. PT (NBC, 12 p.m. PT)


Only two races remain in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, beginning with this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland. Ed Carpenter Racing will return to the Pacific Northwest for the penultimate round at Portland International Raceway before heading down the coast to the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Rinus VeeKay is eager to return to Portland, a track where he had great success in the Road To Indy and his first experience in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car. Quick at many of the road courses this year, Conor Daly welcomes the opportunity to finish his 2022 season strong.


CONOR DALY, No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet: “I’m excited to get out to the west coast and get back to racing! We’re really looking for a great finish to our season and ready to rebound from an unfortunate set of circumstances at our last race in St. Louis. There’s a lot of great history at Portland and it’s a great place to kick off these last two race weekends of the year.”


• Conor Daly’s first season as full-time driver of ECR’s No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet has featured many solid results. Earlier this season, Daly advanced through all rounds of qualifying and started 4th in the first race of May, the GMR Grand Prix. Battling both wet and dry conditions during the race, he earned a Top 5 finish. Two weeks later, he paced the Indianapolis 500 field for several laps before finishing 6th. Additional strong results followed the next three rounds at Detroit, Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Later in the summer, Daly qualified 3rd for both races of the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.

• Daly has two previous starts at Portland International Raceway. Despite never having driven a lap at the track prior to the 2019 NTT INDYCAR SERIES race weekend, he qualified solidly in the 9th position. Last year, he raced forward several times during the event and was on pace for a Top 10 finish. A wheel gun malfunction during his final pit stop cost him mere seconds, but translated to several positions on track. He charged forward once again, picking up six spots in the final 20 laps to finish 16th.

• BitNile Holdings, Inc. is the primary partner of the No. 20 Chevrolet as part of a multi-year deal. BitNile is a diversified holding company that specializes in disruptive technologies, including cryptocurrency and innovations in the field of Decentralized Finance (“DeFi”). They focus on large-scale crypto mining with energy efficient, powerful operations located in North America and operate their own high-density data center. BitNile invests in technology platforms that provide crypto holders a vehicle to earn interest on their crypto assets. 


RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team Powered By BitNile Chevrolet: I’m excited for Portland – Pointland! I’m going to call it Pointland because we want to get all of the points! Do you get the point? We’re still fighting for a Top 10 in the championship so we need some good results. To start these last two west coast races well is really important. We’ve been working very hard and we have found some things that will help our race set up. When I was in the Road to Indy, I clinched a championship there and won a few races. I really like the track, so we hope to have a great weekend with lots of cheers!”


• Rinus VeeKay has filled his third season as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver with many accomplishments, including recent 4th place finishes at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Race 1 of the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway two weeks ago. In early May, he won his second career pole position and earned his first podium of 2022 with a third place at Barber Motorsports Park. A few weeks later, he qualified on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 for the second year in a row and started third. With his qualifying performance, he was the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in the 33-car field for the third consecutive year. At the most recent road course race at IMS, he started 8th, fell to 16th on the first lap, and battled back to a 6th-place finish. 

• Though VeeKay has only competed in one NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Portland International Raceway, his history with ECR at the track goes back to the beginning of his Indy car career. In August of 2019, ECR selected VeeKay for an evaluation test at Portland. It was the first of two successful tests before he was named full-time driver of the team’s No. 21 Chevrolet prior to the 2020 season. In the 2021 Grand Prix of Portland, he gained an astonishing 16 positions on the opening lap, but strategy would not fall his way the rest of the day and he would have to settle for 17th place. While climbing the Road To Indy ranks, VeeKay earned four pole positions, one victory and three runner-up finishes in four races at Portland.

• Through the generosity of BitNile Holdings, Inc. (BitNile), ECR’s Bitcoin Racing Team will continue to grow in 2022. VeeKay is back in the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team Powered by BitNile Chevrolet, the same design he campaigned in this year’s Indy 500. Any individual who scans the unique QR code on the side of the No. 21 car and completes the registration will receive free Bitcoin from Earnity, a community-based crypto platform of which BitNile is a significant investor. 


Next Race

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

March 5, 2023

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