Portland International Raceway will play host to the penultimate round of the IndyCar championship this weekend. Sunday will be the first major race at the 12-turn road course since ChampCar’s last visit in 2007.
According to Portland GP Vice President Jerry Jensen, ticket sales for the event have been “phenomenal” and “above anything we projected.” The demand for big-time auto racing in the Pacific Northwest is alive and well. IndyCar is the first series to take the leap and head back to PIR but likely won’t be the last.
What About NASCAR?
With ticket sales for IndyCar performing so well the question of “will NASCAR return to PIR” has resurfaced and there is an easy answer to that question.
According to our source within NASCAR (WE HAVE SOURCES), there have been talks internally about PIR. They didn’t specify if that meant a Cup date or an Xfinity/Truck date but PIR has been mentioned for the 2020 schedule shake-up. The NASCAR Truck Series raced at PIR in 1999 and 2000 before vacating their unique schedule and heading towards the BELOVED companion schedule with the Cup series.
NASCAR fans desperately want to see more road courses added to the Cup schedule. NASCAR desperately wants to add the Pacific Northwest to their calendar. PIR represents the best current solution for that. Get some of those light rail riding, IPA drinking, soccer fans to come out to a NASCAR race and the series could have a real winner on their hands.
IndyCar Will Gauge The Interest
While the two racing series aren’t the same and the average young adult is more likely to go to an IndyCar race. Sunday’s Portland GP will serve as a solid measuring stick for the state of racing in that area of the country.
You can’t get further away from the southeastern United States than the Pacific Northwest. The only thing that could hold back NASCAR from Portland would be their history with the rebel flag, etc. Then again Oregon a vast history of racism. Don’t believe me? Google “Oregon Racism.”
For now, a major race is being held in Portland, how Sunday goes will set the tone for future events. NASCAR going back to Portland is a real possibility and a likely welcomed one by fans and Jeff Gluck alike.
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