Portland International Raceway
Portland Speedway will celebrate its 14th season as a NASCAR Winston Racing Series track in 1997. Originally built as a clay oval track, the speedway has a rich and storied history dating back to the mid-1920s and involving many of the legendary names of the sport.
As such, it is one of the oldest continuously operating automobile race tracks in the United States and has hosted the oldest West Coast stock car racing circuit, the NASCAR Winston West Series, since 1954.
Portland Speedway's creators carved the orginal 5/8-mile surface out of a north Portland field in the 1920s. The track subsequently played host to Big Car, Midget and Stock Car races through the start of World War II. In 1946 the track's operators paved and shortened Portland Speedway to a half-mile oval and, in the late 1940s, added the inner quarter-mile oval.
In 1984 the speedway's lease was acquired by Western Speedways, Inc. and a sanctioning agreement with NASCAR, the largest and most successful automobile racing organization in the world, was granted. Although the track was in disrepair at the time the management team persisted and the facility rebounded in splendid fashion.
Through a committment to excellence in all phases of operation, Portland Speedway has shown tremendous growth, both in terms of competitor participation and spectator attendance.
In addition to the NASCAR Winston West Series schedule, the track will host the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and the NASCAR REB-CO Northwest Tour.
Location: North of Portland on I-5, exit 306A, then southeast.
PREMIUM GARAGES PLANNED AT PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
October 28, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Portland, Ore. - A former race car executive wants to take over management of Portland International Raceway so he can build "premium condo garages" for private auto enthusiasts, a high-end hot rod retail center and a boutique hotel, The Oregonian reported.
Chris Pook recently submitted his proposal to City Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversees the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau and the public raceway. City parks and financial officials are reviewing the proposal but said it's not a top priority. The review should be complete by year's end.
Pook suggests the city lease the land to his Pacific Northwest Race Management Co. for 60 years. In return, the company would fund facility improvements, pay Portland escalating annual lease fees beginning at $225,000 and pay property taxes after the third year of operations. Under the proposal, the city also would get 7.5 percent of gross annual profits, the newspaper reported.
In early years, some of those payments would be offset by costs for new improvements, according to the proposal. For instance, the company would receive up to $100,000 annually in rent credits during the first four years for building a noise barrier. The company also would get a rent credit of 80 percent for any improvements made specifically to the racetrack.
Portland hasn't hosted a high-profile open-wheel event since the Indy Racing League and Champ Car merged in 2008. Many of those events lost money for race organizers. The city for several years has welcomed development proposals and has expressed support for some of the concepts Pook is pushing.
Pook used to head the now-defunct CART racing. He told The Oregonian he believes there's initial demand for at least 10 high-end hobbyist garages in Portland. He envisions a hotel with 80 rooms, half serving as event suites. Pook said he also wants to bring four big events to Portland each year, but said conversations with race organizers have been informal.
"Unfortunately, the initial reaction is, 'We'll believe it when we see it.' The onus is on us to get rid of the deferred maintenance and bring the facility up to 21st century standards," Pook said. "Until that happens, (race) sanctioning bodies have little interest."