Saturday, June 10, 2017

INDYCAR: 10 Years since Portland's last race



Talk 'bout Snubbing the Pacific Northwest, as Seriously! NO Indy Cars Zoom-Zoomin' around the City of Roses for a decade; Tisk-Tisk...


Ten years ago today, the Champ Car World Series (CCWS) held its and presumably Indy Cars final race outing at Portland International Raceway. As the traditional Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) and subsequently Champ Cars Father's Day date was moved forward one week at the promoter's behest in order to run in conjunction with Portland's Rose Festival, celebrating its Centennial in 2007.


Ironically, Champ Car was planning to host three new race events in Las Vegas, Phoenix and China that year. As I still remember having booked my Airfare for the Phoenix Street race prior to it being cancelled. China's been a No-go how many times? While "los wages" basks in the misfortune of DannyBoy Spike' Wheldon's senseless death...

As thou Muh-nutia' slips away, for some strange reason, I tend to recall jokes being made 'bout Champ Car, which by that point I'd taken to calling Chump Carz' would be going Head-to-Head with the Rose Festival parade, where 100,000 spectators were expected at the parade on race day morning!

Whilst 'Ol 'R, aka IndyCar Soothsayer Robin Miller bluntly pointed out the amazingly sparse crowd attending ultimately not only Portland's last waltz, but Champ Car itself, nonetheless, it seems like the city was trying to kill the race also, which was in the third and final year of its CCWS contract. As I've just realized that thou proverbial "War 'O Roses" was Portland's role in the Champ Car v IRL Debacle...


For Y'all not familiar with the Rose Festival, which I'm never attended nor an expert upon it myself, the festival's a yearly occurrence beginning in either late May or early June, lasting approx 2-3 weeks, ending in mid June.

It features three separate parades, with the Grand Madame being the Grand Floral Parade, reported to be the second largest floral parade in the nation, only out-bloomed by that Rose parade in Pasadena! While the Kid's parade claims up to 10,000 children participants!

There's multiple High School Princess's, with one becoming the Queen of Rosaria, responsible for starting the event - with much of the festivities taking place at the city's waterfront park, including Fleet Week, the Starlight parade, Fireworks, Carnival rides and my favourite, Ferris wheels! Plus the usual food, beverages, etc.

As it sounds like Portland's answer to our yearly Seafair extravaganza here in Seattle each summer, albeit Portland's event began two years after the city celebrated the Lewis & Clark Centennial in 1905, while Champ Car honoured the Bicentennial at PIR in '05...

Alas, having scribbled profusely 'bout my final Champ Car race attended in the Rose City five years ago, when celebrating, or more likely lamenting Indy Cars demise from my Home Track, nee Portland International Raceway, where I've attended countless motor racing events, with ironically my debutante CART race outing occurring thirty years ago, it's hard to believe that a decade's already passed by with IndyCar turning its back upon the pacific Northwest, i.e.; Portland and Vancouver, BC...


With my voluminous five part tome Ode to Portland regaling that most wonderful weekend flying Solo at the Racetrack, where that Damn le 'Hamburgular Mucked Up Justin B-I-G UNIT' Wilson's race...


(Float image source:www.alamy.com)

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