Located just south of the Columbia River in North Portland, the 268-acre (108 ha) Portland International Raceway (PIR) hosts a spectrum of exciting events. Built in 1961 from the ruins of the flooded city of Vanport, the raceway’s almost perfectly flat road course provides the perfect track for everything from cycling, drag racing and motocross to walkathons, auto shows and obstacle course events.
The Portland International Raceway Track
Portland International Raceway is only 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Interstate 5, easily accessible via MAX Light Rail’s yellow line, adjacent to Delta Park and close to Portland Expo Center. The road course has two configurations: a nine-turn course with a lap length of 1.915 miles (3.08 km) and a 12-turn course with a chicane (S-curve) and a total length of 1.967 miles (3.17 km). The facility also features a drag racing strip and a dirt course for motocross bikes.
Cars, Cars, Cars
Whether you’re fast and furious or cruising on the sidelines, PIR has something for you. More than 350,000 people visit each year to take part in more than 500 scheduled events. The calendar is packed with ways to get in on the action.
Fans of autocross and road racing will be right at home here. The course hosts ICSCC (International Conference of Sports Car Clubs) and SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) racing, as well as NASCAR K&N Pro Series West stock car racing. But the best thing about the raceway is that you can buckle up and get in on the action!
PIR is home to its very own racing school, known as Pro Drive. This school gives you the training to take on the course with confidence, offering everything from skid car safety training to high performance driving education. (Participants can even get behind the wheel of a Spec Racer Ford race car!)
For a more informal racing experience, visitors can take part in PIR’s Late Night Drags. On these Friday and Saturday nights, visitors can put their cars on the track in a safe environment. Bring your own wheels and make as many runs as you want throughout the evening.
Automobile fans who are more comfortable cruising than burning rubber can take part in PIR’s Beaches Cruise-in. Held on Wednesday nights from June through September, the cruise-in features more than 1,000 pre-1974 hot rods, exotic sports cars and motorcycles. Also offered are wood-smoked barbecue specials, a shady picnic area and great live music.
Bikes and Beyond
For more than 50 years, PIR has hosted Thursday Night MotoCross. Touted as the nation’s longest running night motocross racing series, this event offers great racing under the lights of the infield dirt course.
You don’t have to be a gear head to enjoy the raceway. The flat 2-mile road course is a favorite of the bicycle racing community, with races Monday and Tuesday evenings from May through August. The Short Track Series is perfect for mountain bike and cyclecross fans.
If you’re more comfortable on your feet, there’s still plenty to do. PIR hosts a wide variety of runs, walks and obstacle events each year. Popular events include the intense and muddy Rugged Maniac 5k or the whimsical, family-friendly Bubble Run.
If you’d rather lace up your running shoes for a good cause, the raceway has you covered. PIR hosts fundraising running/walking events for many local and national charities. Event organizers donate more than $100,000 per year to important causes. Events include the Walk To End Alzheimers and the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes.