Portland International Raceway

Portland International Raceway hosts all kinds of events that attract racing enthusiasts by the thousands. Among the most popular Portland Raceway events is the Rose Cup, which is an amateur car-racing competition that is part of the larger Rose Festival. Road races of varying kinds, some of which are designed for motorcycles, also figure among the raceway's events, as do drag races, go-kart races, and vintage car races. There's even NASCAR Portland Raceway events to choose from. A number of hotels near Portland International Raceway provide convenient lodging for events, and there is no shortage of fun things to do on the side when you're not at the track.

Among the biggest Portland Raceway events of the year is the BI-Mart Salute the Troops 125, which is a NASCAR K&N Series race that is held in mid-July. Another bigger event that is hosted at the complex is the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Northwest National Open Series, which sees all kinds of dragsters laying rubber on the raceway's drag strip at the end of August. Rounding out the main Portland Raceway events is the Portland Historic Races. This July event features a series of races that showcase more than 200 historic race cars, and when you're not watching the action on the track, you might visit the food and wine pavilion, spend some time at the kid zone, or check out the hundreds of hot rods and collector cars that are on display.

Not all of the Portland Raceway events are races. The complex also hosts the PIR Auto Swap Meet on an annual basis in April, for example. This event is the largest of its kind on the West Coast and has little trouble attracting car enthusiasts.

The Portland International Raceway can be found in Portland's Kenton neighborhood, which is also where you will find the Portland Expo Center. The area was formerly home to a housing project for WWII shipbuilders that was called Vanport City. This housing project was destroyed by a flood in 1948. Twelve years later, the Portland International Raceway started hosting its first races on the former Vanport City site, and these races were attached to the Portland Rose Festival.

The original PIR track, which took advantage of the old city streets that remained in place after the flood, was called West Delta Park. West Delta Park was known for being dangerous, and this led to the paving of a newer track in the 1970s. The track was renovated again in 2007–2008, and it stretches out to a length of almost two miles when the longer of the two possible track configurations is employed. Twelve turns help to keep things interesting during the longer races, while shorter races often see the drivers executing nine turns in a single lap.

More Portland International Raceway improvements have either been executed or are planned for the future, and these improvements will only help to make the place a top-notch racing center. These improvements include the 2007–2008 track renovations, a new pedestrian bridge over the track, and the addition of more professional racing garages, among other things. In other words, this already great Portland attraction is only slated to get better and better with time.

Anyone looking for hotels near Portland International Raceway will find many options. Good hotels that are less than a mile away include the Red Lion Hotel on the River, the Best Western Inn at the Meadows, and the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Portland North Harbour. These hotels aren't luxurious, but they are more than comfortable enough for travelers who don't require five star accommodations.

As for cheap hotels near Portland International Raceway, most of the area hotels are very affordable. That being said, the Days Inn Portland North and the even cheaper Motel 6 Portland North are perhaps the most ideal when saving money on lodging is the main aim. Both of these discount lodging establishments are less than a mile from the track, and with the money that you save by staying at one, you might enjoy an extra round of golf at the nearby Heron Lakes Golf Course.

Image: prorallypix (flickr)
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