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Thousands expected to attend NASCAR event at Portland International Raceway

The NASCAR Xfinity Series at the Portland International Raceway is expected to draw 50,000 fans for the first national series stop in the PNW in 22 years.

PORTLAND, Ore. — After two-year hiatus of large events in the Portland area, thousands of racing fans are expected to spend time in the Rose City this weekend as NASCAR makes its first pit stop in the Pacific Northwest in more than two decades.

This weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series hits the Portland International Raceway, and 50,000 people are expected to attend. Organizers said rain or shine, the drivers will race. Tickets were selling out fast, but there's still general admission tickets left. 

"We are really proud to be able to be a part of the new opening of Portland, bringing back all of these events to the raceway and all these people are looking forward to better weather that will bring more crowds," said Leah Ford, a local food vendor. 

This event marks the first NASCAR national series stop in the Pacific Northwest in 22 years. For racing fans, it's an event worth traveling for. 

"I had five trips lined up in 2019, I had to cancel all of them because of COVID," said Edward Bell. "It's good to be back out on the track again." 

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Bell is in town from Vancouver, British Columbia. He said this was the closest race he could attend. 

Along with the races and food, organizers said there will also be live music. The event is expected to have a huge economic impact on the city. 

"In terms of hotel accommodations, restaurants, rental cars, people out shopping because we don't have sales tax here, everyone that comes into the race will get the benefits of being in Portland," said Jerry Jensen, the event organizer.

Tickets are available at the gate. Kids age 12 and under get in for free. 

RELATED: Portland expected to see its busiest summer tourism season in years

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