Andretti Autosport Portland Race Report
 September 2, 2019| 
  • Team News
AA PDX 2019 Recap

RACE 1

Points leader Oliver Askew battled for the lead of the race with championship rival Rinus VeeKay in the opening laps of the race before ultimately settling in and strolling to a second-place finish. Askew gathered valuable points to keep a comfortable points gap. The podium finish was the rookie's 13th, tying him for the most podiums in a single season with Alex Lloyd.

Rookie Robert Megennis earned his fifth podium finish of the season when he finished third, but that third-place finish didn't come easy. For the final 10 laps of the race, Megennis had his mirrors full with Toby Sowery and the native of New York strategically drove those final few laps to hold off Sowery for the last spot on the podium.

After a difficult qualifying session Friday, Ryan Norman took the green flag from the back of the field and was quick to try and work his way through the cars in front of him. Early in the race Norman made contact with Lucas Kohl, leaving the driver of the No. 48 with front wing damage for the remainder of the race. Despite the damage, Norman gained a position from where he started to finish the day in seventh. 
 

RACE 2

Once the green flag flew for Race 2, Oliver Askew was on the move to take over the lead before locking up his tires going into Turn 1 which led to Askew falling back into the field and making contact with David Malukas. The Lap 1 incident caused a full course caution and the damage sustained to the No. 28 machine included a broken front wing along with a flat rear tire. Askew ventured to pit lane for service and the 28 crew worked quickly to fix the damage with enough time to return to the track before going a lap down.

Taking the restart from the rear of the field, Askew, understanding how valuable each point is in his championship hunt, drove through the field battling with each driver for each position. By Lap 28, Askew had made his way up to third, from where he would eventually see the checkered flag. The rookie's 14th podium-finish surpassed the record for most podiums earned in a single season.

Veteran Ryan Norman, who started Race 2 from the fifth position, narrowly avoided the Lap 1 incident and was quick to work his way up to the third position. Norman was chasing down the No. 21 machine of VeeKay for the firt half of the race. The Three Chord driver ultimately finished fourth.

Following a podium finish in Race 1, Robert Megennis had qualified his No. 27 Cybersecurity machine in the seventh position for Race 2, but was penalized for accelerating past the checkered flag in Qualifying. The penalty forced Megennis to start from the rear of the field. The rookie from New York gained three positions on the start and made his way up to fourth for the restart. Megennis had his eyes set on a back-to-back podium finishes before eventually finishing fifth. 
 
NEXT
 
As the Andretti Indy Lights trio heads into season finale weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Oliver Askew leads the championship 41 points ahead of second-place Rinus VeeKay. Championship honors will we awarded to Askew once he earns 23 points, which only requires the rookie to start each race of the doubleheader weekend.

Don’t miss the doubleheader, championship weekend from Laguna Seca starting with the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Laguna Seca Race 1 at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.
No. 28 INDEX INVEST DALLARA
RACE 1
START FINISH STANDING / POINTS
2 2 1 / 420
RACE 2
START FINISH STANDING / FINISH
2 3 1 / 442
RACE 1:
"[Finishing second] is what we needed to do. [Rinus] VeeKay started on new tires so we knew from the beginning that it was going to be difficult to get around him. I didn’t really force the issue to get around. I didn’t really like the block that he put on me but he got a warning for it, and we will move on to tomorrow. It will be an even playing field but our mindset is still the same. We are here for points and want to head into Laguna Seca and go win the championship."

RACE 2:
"That is how we do it, stay calm and I believed that the car was going to be quick through the race. I wasn’t only fighting for a podium, I was fighting for the championship and I think we clinched it there. It is starting to soak in. This is what we have been working for the all year. I am really proud of the whole team, myself and everyone around me. The emotions are starting to sink in now for sure."
No. 27 CYBERSECURITY DALLARA
RACE 1
START FINISH STANDING / POINTS
3 3 4 / 297
RACE 2
START FINISH STANDING / FINISH
8 5 5 / 314
RACE 1:
"I feel great. It was really nice to get another really solid result under us. It has been a while since I’ve been on the podium. Like I said, everything is coming back together and I think we have a lot more of these [podiums] before the end of the season."

RACE 2:
"Today was a weird race, to be honest. I had a really good start, went from eighth to fifth then up to fourth on the restart. From there I was chasing down [Ryan] Norman and [Rinus] VeeKay then my car started to fall off. We just didn’t have the pace to compete for the podium today. We did everything we could and we will look at it and see what we can do better for Laguna. We had some races that were good and some that weren’t so we will look at it and see where we can do better."
No. 48 THREE CHORD DALLARA
RACE 1
START FINISH STANDING / POINTS
8 7 3 / 309
RACE 2
START FINISH STANDING / FINISH
5 4 3 / 328
RACE 1:
"I got a decent start. Unfortunately, it seems that some of these other drivers on track aren’t aware of what is happening around them. I got hit about four different times. [Toby] Sowery threw me off in Turn 3 then [Lucas] Kohl came to a dead stop in Turn 2, causing me to run into the back of him. After that our front wing was damaged and we were super loose, which is why I spun. From that point our goal was to just bring home the car. It was really disappointing because I know we could have done better than that. Tomorrow we will be looking to have a strong result."

RACE 2:
"Overall not a very good weekend. We didn’t have great qualifying. We had good practice but just couldn’t put it together in qualifying. We had a bunch of contact in Race 1 that put me back. Today we were running third most of the race but just couldn’t pull it off in the end. We will go onto Laguna Seca and go for a pair of good results to finish off the season."

  • RTI_Lights_Sabelt_Web
     12.3.19| 
    • Series News
  • Rinus ECR 2019
     11.20.19| 
    • Team News
  • unnamed (3)
     11.20.19| 
    • Team News
  • VeeKay Release ECR 2019
     11.20.19| 
    • Team News
  • Sebring Banner
     11.8.19| 
    • Series News