Monday, July 13, 2009

Interview with Jerry Boone

As I was running through the lobby of the hotel this past June, grabbing a cup of coffee for my husband Paul, I ran into Jerry Boone. I was there in support of my son Moses and the Hasa Pool Products Race team.

Jerry explained that he was there promoting the ninth race in the NASCAR Camping World Series West Championship; the race in Portland.

“I would love to interview you for my blog!” I gushed. Mr. Boone graciously agreed.

NASCAR Race Mom: First off, please give me a brief bio of yourself.

Jerry Boone:

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/photographer/editor and columnist. I also covered motorsports for The Oregonian newspaper for almost seven years and was a contributing writer for Stock Car Racing magazine, Circle Track, Classic Motorsports and

I began working on the Portland NASCAR race in early February, because I know the man who is backing the event and I wanted to help make it successful. Most of my time has been spent with face-to-face promotions, bringing either an MJ2 West car or a GASS car to car shows, shopping malls, cruises etc. to tell folks about the race.

NASCAR Race Mom: What are the five things a NASCAR Camping World Series Race Fan might not know about the Portland International Raceway?

Jerry Boone:

1) When people see the address is "Victory Boulevard" they assume the street name has to do with auto racing. Actually the name of the street goes back to when the site of PIR was the community of Vanport, a large city that housed workers for the shipyards in Portland and Vancouver. The yards built WWII Liberty Ships and most of the streets had names the reflected the war effort. The city was destroyed in a flood in the 1950s, when an earthen levee broke.

2) Unlike most road courses, the track is almost flat, with less than 5 feet of elevation change over the entire two-mile course.

3) The track is owned by the City of Portland and it a designated city park. It gets no taxpayer money and operates on the revenue it receives from rental and use fees.

4) Many race engineers feel the track is very demanding for both engine builders and suspension tuners. Because it has two long straights, it is much like a big oval, but the tight corners at the chicane also resemble the type of corners you might see on a course laid out on city streets. Brake wear will be a huge factor, as will be the abuse on the engine and gearbox.

5) The last time the series raced at PIR was in 1986; when Hershel McGriff won the race and went on to win the season championship.

6) The fastest part of the track will be at the end of the long back straight -- which is really a very long curve -- just before the cars have to brake for a quick series of left-right corners.

NASCAR Race Mom: How would you answer this question, “What I love about the NASCAR Camping World Series West is?”

Jerry Boone:

The variety of tracks, the history behind the cars -- because almost all of them are former Cup or Nationwide cars -- and how approachable the drivers are when it comes to answering questions. I tell new fans that they can see the nearly the exact same type of technology, tech and talent as they'll see at a major NASCAR race, except they'll be able to see it up close and ask questions.

NASCAR Race Mom: This question is for my buddy Paul Harraka Sr. (father of Rookie of the Year contender Paulie Harraka) - Where is your favorite place to eat near the track?

Jerry Boone:

My friends and I always met at Shari's across the track or the NightHawk a mile or so south for breakfast. The track food is better than average; or dinner, check out some of the spots at Jantzen Beach or go into downtown Portland for restaurants along the waterfront with great food and spectacular views.

NASCAR Race Mom: Is there anything else you want to inform my readers about?

Jerry Boone:

The Portland area is really pumped up about the series coming back to the area and racing on the road course. Since the track is city-owned, most fans have a feeling of "ownership" in the facility so look on the series as coming to our "home." As part of the group putting on the race, we expect there are some things we will screw up and have to fix on the spot. We are open to suggestions on how to do things we hope to get a second shot next year.

You can go to their website for more information by clicking here.

No comments: