Oregon Motorsports Milestones 1905-2018

Oregon Motorsports Milestones 1905-2018

Oregon has so many motorsport milestones found within the World of Speed Archive Collection that it was hard to pick just one for every decade but we did and its only the tip of the iceberg. From the first transcontinental race across America ending in Oregon in 1905 to the return of Indy car championship racing at PIR in 2018, Oregon has had some great racing moments.

The emergence of race tracks of all types made Oregon a landing spot for racing. Generations of race enthusiasts made it onto the track, in the pit, and to the bleachers as local racing culture grew and went main stream. Along the way, Portland was home to the Dutchess, the only female race team manager of her time; Willy T. Ribbs became the first racer of color to win the Rose Cup; and a soon-to-be President Jimmy Carter waved a race flag at PIR.

1905

 The first transcontinental car race across America starts in New York and ends in Oregon with Old Scout, driven by Dwight Huss, winning after 45 days.  Check out more about the first transcontinental race.

The first transcontinental car race across America starts in New York and ends in Oregon with Old Scout, driven by Dwight Huss, winning after 45 days. Check out more about the first transcontinental race.


1914

 Rose City Speedway surfaces as one of the first pop-up car-specific race tracks in Oregon, closing in 1921 before becoming today's Rose City Golf Course. Find out about the   two  Rose City Speedways .

Rose City Speedway surfaces as one of the first pop-up car-specific race tracks in Oregon, closing in 1921 before becoming today's Rose City Golf Course. Find out about the two Rose City Speedways.

1924

 Union Street Speedway oval track, later officially named Portland Speedway, offers generations of midget, stock, and big car racing until closing in 2001. Check out  Portland Speedway’s drive-in movie theater .

Union Street Speedway oval track, later officially named Portland Speedway, offers generations of midget, stock, and big car racing until closing in 2001. Check out Portland Speedway’s drive-in movie theater.

1930

 Portland's Bob Strong becomes one the growing number of northwest racing enthusiasts and wins the Speed Bowl championship test race at Gresham Speedway. Check out the  complete 1930s racing scrapbook .

Portland's Bob Strong becomes one the growing number of northwest racing enthusiasts and wins the Speed Bowl championship test race at Gresham Speedway. Check out the complete 1930s racing scrapbook.

1941

 Portland's own and the only female race car owner and manager of the time, the "Duchess" Dorothy Gruman brings her race team to the Oakland 500. Find out more about the  Dutchess, her drivers, and more.

Portland's own and the only female race car owner and manager of the time, the "Duchess" Dorothy Gruman brings her race team to the Oakland 500. Find out more about the Dutchess, her drivers, and more.

1955

 Sidewinders motorcycle club opens its AMA-sanctioned track in Clackamas, Oregon, becoming one of the most challenging tracks on the circuit. Get to know the club and track in our  Sidewinders case .

Sidewinders motorcycle club opens its AMA-sanctioned track in Clackamas, Oregon, becoming one of the most challenging tracks on the circuit. Get to know the club and track in our Sidewinders case.

1961

 Woodburn Dragstrip opens with a 1/8 mile drag strip, expanding it two years later to a 1/4 mile in 1963 and welcoming the roar of dragsters for decades. Check out  local drag racer Herm Petersen’s scrapbook .

Woodburn Dragstrip opens with a 1/8 mile drag strip, expanding it two years later to a 1/4 mile in 1963 and welcoming the roar of dragsters for decades. Check out local drag racer Herm Petersen’s scrapbook.

1976

 While on the road running for United States President prior to winning in 1977, Jimmy Carter flagged the race's start at Oregon's Portland International Raceway. Check out the story of  race flagger Ed Rose .

While on the road running for United States President prior to winning in 1977, Jimmy Carter flagged the race's start at Oregon's Portland International Raceway. Check out the story of race flagger Ed Rose.

1983

 Willy T. Ribbs becomes the first racer of color to win PIR's Rose Cup after racing to first place at the Trans-Am race event at PIR which lasted 1975-2005. Get to know another Trans-Am racer, local  Cindi Lux .

Willy T. Ribbs becomes the first racer of color to win PIR's Rose Cup after racing to first place at the Trans-Am race event at PIR which lasted 1975-2005. Get to know another Trans-Am racer, local Cindi Lux.

1995

 After winning the first Indy car CART race at Portland International Raceway in 1984, Al Unser Jr. wins for the third time after winning the year before in 1994. Check out  film from the first Indy race at PIR .

After winning the first Indy car CART race at Portland International Raceway in 1984, Al Unser Jr. wins for the third time after winning the year before in 1994. Check out film from the first Indy race at PIR.

2005

 Oregon's Monte Shelton wins his 7th Rose Cup at age 71, securing the most cup wins, beginning with his first win in 1972, and the renaming of the cup in his name. Check out our  Porsche exhibit including Monte’s .

Oregon's Monte Shelton wins his 7th Rose Cup at age 71, securing the most cup wins, beginning with his first win in 1972, and the renaming of the cup in his name. Check out our Porsche exhibit including Monte’s.

2018

 After an eleven year hiatus going back to 2007, Indy car championship racing comes back to Portland International Raceway, returning it to the national and international stage with Takuma Sato winning the 2018 Grand Prix of Portland. Check out  Oregon’s own Indy crews .

After an eleven year hiatus going back to 2007, Indy car championship racing comes back to Portland International Raceway, returning it to the national and international stage with Takuma Sato winning the 2018 Grand Prix of Portland. Check out Oregon’s own Indy crews.