I enjoyed watching the IndyCars return to Portland after a long absence even if I had to watch on TV instead of at the track since they returned to Portland after I left. Congrats to Takuma Sato on the win and to Scott Dixon for extending his championship lead going into the final race. This is Scott signing autographs as a rookie at Portland in 2001, we were both a lot younger then. One of us went on to win multiple championships and one of us blogs about his cats but I’m not going to tell you who is who, I’ll let the mystery be.
The IndyCars came to Phoenix a week after I did but on the heels of the move and my first week at work I didn’t have it in me to go the race, maybe next time. It’s a good sign I didn’t fly back to the race in Portland, earlier in the year I thought if the heat of the summer drove me crazy I might fly back for the race and then go hiking in Washington but I’ve enjoyed my summer in the desert.
Mauricio Gugelmin, driving for PacWest Racing, waits in the pits during Friday practice at the 2001 CART race in Portland. This was his last year in not just IndyCars but in racing, I think big crashes of his own and others, combined with the death of a son with health issues, led to his retirement. I’m nostalgic for this era of racing in many ways but one thing I’m glad to see after being away from the sport for years, is how much safer the cars continue to get, and that improvement needs to continue.
Rookie Scott Dixon in his PacWest Racing car during Friday practice for the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway. While I spent most of the time focusing on my favorite drivers, I was familiar with Scott from his success in Indy Lights and wanted to get a shot of him in his car. The next year he’d switch to Chip Ganassi Racing where he’d win 4 championships and the Indy 500. He’s currently in contention for the 2017 championship, despite a savage crash at this year’s Indy 500 that almost gave me a heart attack. I love watching him race and am glad I have a photo from the early days.