Scott Dixon was the fastest in the final practice session of the NTT IndyCar Series on Saturday at Portland Int’l Raceway. (IndyCar photo)
PORTLAND, Oregon. – Alex Palou almost did the hat trick of speed by sweeping both workouts and taking pole at Portland Int’l Raceway.
Nobody told his teammate about Chip Ganassi Racing, Scott Dixon, but Palou’s potential hat trick.
Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Dixon was the fastest driver in Sunday’s final practice session for the Portland Grand Prix. Before that, Palou was the fastest in the first 75-minute practice session and won pole on Saturday afternoon.
Dixon drove the final session, lapping the 12-turn, 1,964-mile Portland Int’l Raceway in 59.411 seconds for a speed of 119.008 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.
Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden finished second with 59.6296 (118.572 mph) in the Hitachi Chevrolet No. 2 followed by Ed Jones in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda with 59.6403 (118.551 mph).
Palou finished fourth in PNC Bank Honda’s No. 10 at 59.7467 (118.340 mph) and topped the charts with a minute to go in the final practice session before Dixon topped his pace first. Newgarden and Jones were also able to drive faster than Palou at the checkered flag.
Palou, a second year rider from Spain, started the weekend 10 points behind World Championship leader Pato O’Ward. Palou won pole at Sunday’s Portland Grand Prix on Sunday. So he got one point in the championship and is effectively nine points behind O’Ward.
However, the point for the pole will only be awarded after the race on Sunday.
Pato O’Ward starts the race as championship leader. Newgarden is third, 22 points behind. O’Ward was at 1: 00.4529 (116.947 mph) in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 16th fastest.
Sunday’s race will be aired on NBC and will begin broadcasting at 12 noon Eastern Time. Shortly afterwards the green flag flies.
There are still three races left in the 2021 season of the NTT IndyCar Series.