Track Map of the Past: Portland International Raceway
Back when PIR was Auto Sports Park they had a touch more personality and fun in their program ephemera than they do today. Look at all of the little details in Rick Owen’s old hand-drawn and watercolored(?) map. Some are useful information for drivers and spectators alike: the suggested speeds for each of the seven turns; the near-track hazards being cartoonishly confronted by the drivers in the map; US 99 disappearing into the a Seattle filled horizon. Others are there just to make us smile: the sea monster near the front straight; the mechanics dozing under the car at tech inspection; the distracted driver oggling a sunbathing spectator going in to turn 4. Rick’s map reminds us all that motorsport is supposed to be fun. Today’s maps have completely forgotten the fun side of the sport.
Don’t believe me? Check out their current map. I’ve seen golf course maps, or even county platt schematics with more artistry. Come on, Portland! Find Rick Owen and have him do the smallish updates to this gorgeous painterly map he created decades ago.
Many thanks to racing historian Martin Rudow for sending this in. Check out his Weekends of Glory (The History of Northwest Sports Car Racing, Volume Two: 1962 through 1970) for more Pacific Northwest racing history.
If I”m not mistaken, the course was laid out on the remains of Vanport. In 1948, a dike broke and wiped out the entire town. All that was left were the streets and house foundations.