Andretti Autosport Portland Race 1 Review
 September 1, 2018| 
  • Team News
Andretti Autosport PDX 2018 R1


Drivers took to Portland's 1.964-mile road course today for their last qualifying session of the season and Race 1. Championship contenders, Patricio O'Ward and Colton Herta, saw the green flag from the front row starting first and second, respectively, while Ryan Norman and Dalton Kellett would take the start from sixth and seventh, respectively.

The pressure was on between O'Ward and Herta, as a win for O'Ward would clinch the series championship for the young rookie driver, but a win for Herta would extend the title fight for another day. The teammates battled the entire race, with Herta making a pass around O'Ward on Lap 5. Herta would lead nine laps before O'Ward made an aggressive move around his teammate on Lap 14 to reclaim the lead. O'Ward led the field to the checkered capturing his eighth career win and the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Series Championship title.

The series champion has been crowned but there is still one race left this weekend. The drivers will close out the season tomorrow morning for Race 2 at 12:55 p.m. ET.


  • CHAMPIONSHIP: 1st(460 pts.)
  • OF NOTE: Led a total of 26 laps to secure his eighth Indy Lights victory//Clinched the series championship and claims the $1million scholarship award from Mazda to guarantee O'Ward three races in the 2019 INDYCAR season
      "I am speechless. It has been such a hard fought year. It has been a great battle with Colton [Herta], and I have to give props to him. He has been really quick and Andretti Autosport has given us awesome cars. The Mazda engines and Cooper Tires have been treating us well all year. I am so proud of this whole team - my mechanics, my engineers and everybody under the Andretti tent. It has been amazing and they have given me such a warm welcome to the team. I am ready to move up to the INDYCAR series and I can’t wait to jump in one of those bad boys. I have to thank everybody and my whole family, especially my parents, for always supporting me. This season has been a dream come true."


      • STARTED 2nd//FINISHED 2nd
      • CHAMPIONSHIP: 2nd (428 pts.)
      • OF NOTE: Hoping to extend the championship toSundayHerta finished second capturing his 13th podium of the season//Herta will finish second in the points championship
          "I passed him [Patricio O'Ward] clean and I thought I would receive the same respect, but obviously not, and he ran me off the track. I hope it was a mistake and I hope it wasn’t on purpose because that would make me really mad if it was. [For next race] you just have to win it. You can be as aggressive as you want and just go for the win."


          No. 48 JOURNEY MAZDA
          • STARTED 6th//FINISHED 5th
          • CHAMPIONSHIP: 4th (331pts.)
          • OF NOTE: Battled Aaron Telitz for position, making the pass to move up to fifth where Norman would ultimately end the day//Today's finish is Norman's 12th top-five finish of the season
              "The race didn’t really go as I wanted it to go. We had a super strong car that was definitely capable of running up in the front, but there was some chaos going into the first turn and I was not able to make up any positions. Everyone was going wide and I tried to pass [Aaron] Telitz, but made a mistake and had to catch back up.Tomorrowwe are starting on Pole and I think we have a car that will be able to pull away or stay up front so I’m excited about doing that, and hopefully we will have a better day."


              No. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS, USA MAZDA
              • STARTED 7th//FINISHED 7th
              • CHAMPIONSHIP: 7th (285 pts.)
              • OF NOTE: Made his 51st Indy Lights career start today//Kellett will look to close out the 2018 season with a third podium finish
                  "The start of the race was fairly exciting. Aaron [Telitz] and I were going side by side and I ended up on the outside coming through Turn 2. I had to back out of it to avoid any contact, so I lost the two spots that I gained, which is fine. We got into a good rhythm and found some pace we have been looking for all weekend, so I’m very optimistic for what we can dotomorrow. The No. 28 K-Line guys have been doing a great job in qualifying and obviously the team has great cars, so we just need to make sure we hit the ground runningtomorrow, make some spots up off the start, and see what we can do."

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