By: Spencer Neff
August 30, 2019 | 2:11 PM
In a turbulent rookie campaign, the natural terrain road courses have been a boon for rookie Colton Herta. On Friday morning, the Harding Steinbrenner Racing driver continued that trend.
With a best lap of 57.4293 seconds (123.115 mph), the Circuit of The Americas winner topped the speed charts in opening practice for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland on the 12-turn, 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway in Oregon.
Slotting in behind Herta were two fellow Honda drivers. After disappointing outings six days ago on the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway oval, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will look to rebound.
During this practice, Rossi was just 0.1245 seconds off Herta’s fastest lap. In fourth, points leader Josef Newgarden led the way for Chevrolet and Team Penske. In fifth, Marco Andretti made it four Honda-powered entries in the Top Five.
Former Winners, Returning part-timers among those looking to make their mark
After his second win of 2019 on Saturday night at Gateway, Takuma Sato goes for the “double-double” this weekend. Last year, Sato raced from 20th on the grid for his lone 2018 victory. Today, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver ended Practice 1 in tenth.
With the series having returned to PIR following oten years away, 2007 race winner Sebastien Bourdais is the only other former winner entered this weekend. I The Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan driver ran 15th in practice.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Marcus Ericsson would return to Formula 1 at Spa-Francorchamps for Alfa Romeo. With Ericsson away, Conor Daly was once again called in as a substitute driver. This morning, Daly ran last among the 23 participants, 1.7535 off Herta’s best time.
Also returning is the Meyer Shank Racing team and driver Jack Harvey. In his Portland debut, the two-time Indy Lights runner-up ran 17th. With another practice set for this afternoon, there will be little time for adjustments in between sessions.
Up Next: Here’s the remaining on-track for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland. All streaming and/or television broadcast options are listed as well.
All NTT IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 98, XM 205, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. Live coverage of NTT IndyCar Series qualifying is available on Sirius 98, XM 205, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
Friday, Aug. 30
2:40 – 3:25 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #2, NBC Sports Gold (live)
3:40 – 4:10 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series warmup/pit stop practice
Saturday, Aug. 31
11 – 11:45 a.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #3, NBC Sports Gold (live)
3 p.m. – Firestone Fast Six Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBCSN (live)
Sunday, Sept. 1
11:58 a.m. – Driver introductions
12:35 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:42 p.m. – Grand Prix of Portland (105 laps/206.22 miles), NBC (live)
Header image by Chris Owens/INDYCAR.