INDY NXT by Firestone at Portland International Raceway

Event: INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Portland, 35 laps

Track Specs: 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course

Tune In (all times Eastern): Race – 1:10 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 3 (Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network); Qualifying – 7:25 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2 (INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network); Practices – 4:55 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1; 2:20 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 (INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network)

Last Year’s Winner: Benjamin Pedersen (Global Racing Group with HMD)

Last Year’s Pole Sitter: Benjamin Pedersen (Global Racing Group with HMD)

Spotlight: Christian Rasmussen moved closer to his first INDY NXT by Firestone championship last weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway, earning his fourth victory of the season in the No. 6 HMD Motorsports with DCR entry. It was his third win in the last four races.

Rasmussen grew his lead to 50 points over Hunter McElrea of Andretti Autosport, but he can’t clinch the title this weekend at Portland because INDYCAR’s development series finishes with a doubleheader Sept. 9-10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. There are 54 points available per race.

With 162 points remaining to claim this season, the top eight drivers in the standings remain mathematically eligible to win the championship. But it’s looking more and more like this could be a duel between Rasmussen and McElrea.

Jacob Abel is third in points for Abel Motorsports, 78 behind Rasmussen. But he is winless this season and arguably will need to find the winner’s circle at least one of the three remaining races to have a longshot chance at the title. Rookie Nolan Siegel of HMD Motorsports is fourth, 80 points behind Rasmussen. He produced consecutive victories in June at Detroit and Road America but only has one top-five finish in the five races since.

Siegel is involved in a compelling, three-way race for top rookie honors in the series. Louis Foster of Andretti Autosport trails Siegel by 26 points but is coming off a runner-up finish to Rasmussen last weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Reece Gold of HMD Motorsports is third in the rookie race, 53 points behind Siegel.

Notes & Nuggets: There’s a good reason why Rasmussen leads the championship by 50 points – he’s pacing or tied atop the series in many statistics. Rasmussen is first in wins (four), laps led (240) and races led (five). He’s also tied for the lead with 10 top-10 finishes with Abel and McElrea.

Rasmussen has been especially dominant in laps led. He has been out front for 240 of the 475 laps this season, a lead rate of 50.5 percent of all laps. The runner-up in that category is Siegel, who has led 67 laps (14.1 percent).

Driver lineups have been shuffled at Juncos Hollinger Racing, Cape Motorsports and HMD Motorsports entering this event.

Matthew Brabham moves to JHR’s No. 76 car for this event, replacing Rasmus Lindh, after driving the team’s No. 75 last weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Victor Franzoni is back with JHR to drive the No. 75 at Portland. Meanwhile, Cape is back with rookie Jagger Jones in its No. 98 car after skipping the WWTR race.

Kyffin Simpson is back in the No. 21 HMD Motorsports with CGR entry this weekend after missing the WWTR event due to a clashing sports car commitment in the European Le Mans Series.

This will be the 22nd INDY NXT by Firestone race at Portland International Raceway. There are no previous winners in this year’s field. Last year’s winner, Benjamin Pedersen, graduated to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this season with AJ Foyt Racing.