Motorsports and performance events alive and well in Northwest
A diverse combination of auto races, car shows, truck pulls, and performance events are scheduled throughout the greater Northwest this year. More than 600 diversified races are scheduled at tracks from Alaska to southern Oregon, and from Spokane to Boise, featuring dragsters, stock cars, modifieds, trucks, sprints, karts, tractors, snowmobiles, motorcycles, vintage racers, and other motorized vehicles.
In addition to racing events, there are more than 425 vehicle shows scheduled in the region for the summer and fall seasons (for detailed listings, visit www.careventscalendar.com). They will showcase customs, hot rods, customs, racers, classics, motorcycles, specialized trucks, vintage cars, and a variety of other vehicles.
Many of the most popular racing events in the Northwest are sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and include on- and off-road car races and rallies. The Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts (SOVREN) historic car races are held each July at Pacific Raceways in Kent, with additional vintage car events sponsored by SOVREN at Spokane County Raceway and the Maryhill Hill Climb near Goldendale, Wash. Portland International Raceway (PIR) hosts the Portland Rose Cup Races in June, with vintage car races at PIR in July, plus scores of drag racing events will be staged at dozens of tracks in coming months.
Racing and motorsports resources:
American Sprint Car Series (www.ascsracing.com) covers Lucas Oil sprint car races in the U.S. and Canada, including events in Montana, Idaho, and Washington.
ASA Racing (www.asa-racing.com) is a short-track stock, sprint, and truck racing series that includes events throughout the Northwest as part of the ASA Northwest Sprint Car Racing Association.
Golden Wheels Fraternity (www.goldenwheels.org) is a non-profit organization formed in 1975 to preserve vintage car racing in the Northwest. The group sponsors annual races in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
International Conference of Sports Car Clubs (www.icscc.com) is an association of independent sports car clubs in the Northwest and British Columbia founded in 1957, and is the largest sports car sanctioning body in the region.
International Hot Rod Association (www.ihra.com) is involved with drag racing events in North America, including the NitroJam and Summit Series races in the Northwest. IHRA has sanctioned tracks in Alaska, Montana, and British Columbia.
National Hot Rod Association (www.nhra.com) has been the source for street rod enthusiasts since 1951 and sponsors a variety of car and motorcycle events throughout the country, including the HNRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceway.
Northwest Drag Racing Association (www.nwdra.com) is a Portland-based organization founded in 1975 that promotes multiple events at Division 6 racetracks the Northwest and Western Canada, plus the annual Hi-Performance Auto Swap Meet each January.
Northwest Truck Pulls (www.nwtruckpulls.com; 360-563-1361) is the region’s premier diesel pulling organization that stages events in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.
Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts (SOVREN) (www.sovren.org) is a Seattle-based nonprofit group of racing enthusiasts founded in 1986 with members throughout the Northwest, California, and British Columbia. SOVREN sponsors several vintage car races and events on the West Coast, including the popular Pacific Northwest Historics race held annually at Pacific Raceways in Kent.
Sports Car Club of America (www.scca.com) provides Club Racing, Rally Series, Rallycross, and Solo racing programs, including dozens of events sponsored by the SCCA Northwest Region (www.nwr-scca.org).
There are dozens of racetracks throughout the Northwest and Alaska, from ovals to drag strips, as well as a variety of dirt and paved road courses. Below is a sampling of a few of the tracks listed by state.
Alaska Raceway Park in Palmer (www.raceak.com; 907-746-7223) has been a fixture in Alaska racing for more than 52 years and is nestled at the base of Pioneer Peak near Palmer. The park offers a May-to-September season of racing that includes snow machines, motorcycles, Funny Cars, SCCA races, drags, and more. It is Alaska’s only sanctioned IHRA facility and features IHRA Summit Series races.
Capitol Speedway in Willow (www.capitolspeedway.org; 907-495-6420) is a 38-year-old track that offers Sprint, Stock, Mini Stock, Hobby Stock, Pickup Truck, and other races, including demolition derby events, on its 3/8-mile oval dirt track each year from May to early September. The 7th annual Firecracker 100 will be July 2.
Firebird Raceway in Boise (www.firebirdonline.com; 208-938-8986) is the home of the long standing Boise Roadster Show and diverse racing events throughout the April-to-October season. The 40th annual Great American Fox Hunt is set for June 16-17, and the 46th annual Pepsi Nightfire Nationals will be Aug. 10-13.
Meridian Speedway in Meridian (www.meridianspeedway.com; 208-888-2813) is an ASA Racing member track and features a full spectrum of races from Winged Sprints to Super Stocks. Meridian is a grand oval track that has been operated since 1951 and offers events through early September. The NAPA Idaho 208, a NASCAR/K&N pro Series race, takes place Sept. 30.
Montana Raceway Park in Kalispell (www.mtracewaypark.com; 406-257-RACE) was built in 1991 and offers races that include Late Models, Legends, Bandoleros, Hobby Stocks, and others on its high-bank, super-oval 3/8-mile track. The 27th Coors Light Montana 200, with a purse of over $50,000, is set for July 13-15.
Oregon Raceway Park in Grass Valley (www.oregonraceway.com; 541-333-2452) is Oregon’s largest race park and is the only one in the Northwest that offers both clockwise and counter-clockwise driving. The track is 2.3 miles long, with 14 corners, and features a half-pipe. A variety of races, club events, and motorcycle races are set for 2017.
Portland International Raceway in Portland (www.portlandraceway.com; 503-823-RACE) is a city-owned track that offers a year-round schedule of racing and special events that include drag, track, club, stock car, motorcycle, bicycle, motocross, and kart races, among others. Multiple SCCA events are held at PIR throughout the season. The 57th annual Rose Cup Races scheduled for July 7-9, and the Portland Vintage Racing Festival is July 28-30.
Southern Oregon Speedway in White City (www.southernoregonspeedway.com; 541-826-6825) has Modified, Pro Stock, Dwarf Car, Sprint Car, and other races from April to September. WSDCA Dwarf Car Nationals are set for Aug. 4-5.
Evergreen Speedway in Monroe (www.evergreenspeedway.com; 360-805-6100) provides racing events from NASCAR (Whelen All-American Series) to Winged Sprints, Pro 4 Trucks to Mini Stocks during its packed seven-month race season. The 2017 Summer Showdown, the largest and richest NASCAR short rack event in the U.S., is July 20-22.
Pacific Raceways in Kent (www.pacificraceways.com; 253-639-5927) is one of the busiest tracks on the West Coast. Diverse races are scheduled from April to October and incorporate road racing, motocross, drags, and SCCA events, plus the popular ProFormance Racing School operates year round. The 29th annual Pacific Northwest Historics Vintage Races (SOVREN) will be June 28 to July 2, and the 30th annual NHRA Mello Yellow Northwest Nationals, hailed as the Northwest’s largest motorsports event, are Aug. 4-6.
Skagit Speedway in Alger (www.skagitspeedway.com; 360-724-3567) is a 3/10-mile oval track founded in 1954. It has seating for 8,100 spectators, plus more than 2,000 can be accommodated in the grass area. Sprints, modifieds, midgets, and others perform April to September. The 46th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup races are June 22-24.
Spokane County Raceway in Airway Heights (www.spokanecountyraceway.com; 509-244-3333) features a 2.5-mile road course, drag strip, and half-mile oval track. Events this summer, in addition to several NHRA Summit Series races, include the Spokane Festival of Speed and SOVREN historic races on June 2-4, and the Nitro Summer Nationals & Jet Car Finals, presented by NAPA, Aug. 18-19.