Bend/Sunriver Raceway is a 1.9-mile crossover road course in Sunriver, Oregon.
It is among the shortest full tracks on the circuit (only Guadalupe, Madisonville, Maple Hills and Lime Rock Park are shorter), but is by no means tame. With 11 turns, a crossover, and 322 feet of elevation change, BSR is among the toughest tracks to to succeed at.
The start-finish straight is level, but is the only portion of the entire track that can say that. A short distance after the start-finish line, the track turns 70 degrees right and immediately begins ascending a steep hill. Turns 2, 3, and 4 are progressively wider and faster curves heading up the hill in a decreasing ascent, heading right-left-right.
Turn 4 is called the Crossover, as it is in the middle of this turn that the track crosses over itself. The bridge is lined on both sides by safety fences.
Turn 5 is at the summit of the hill, and is a sharp 110-degree left-hand corner that leads into a short descending straightaway. Turn 6, also known as the Dive, is easily the hardest corner on the circuit to execute properly. It's a 165-degree hairpin that immediately begins dropping at an insane rate, leading back toward the Crossover.
The backstretch continues to curve left out of Turn 6, and the fall bottoms out under the bridge, only to immediately begin climbing back up the incline. As cars summit the next hill, the track bends back right toward the next summit. Near the end of the backstretch is the highest point on the racetrack, eclipsing even the Crossover.
Turns 7 and 8 are known as the Park. Turn 7 is a left-hand chicane followed immediately by the awkward triple apex of Turn 8, which amount to a 160-degree right-hand carousel. Turn 9 is a 45-degree right-hand curve that begins dropping halfway through the corner. This is the beginning of the Glen Run, a scenic downhill through a tree tunnel.
After a short straightaway through Glen Run, the trees open back up on the left, providing a view of the valley between Turns 10 and 11. Turn 10 is another 45-degree left-hand corner, and Turn 11 is a hard 60-degree right-hander that quickly transitions from the steep downhill of the Glen Run into the level frontstretch.
Bend/Sunriver Raceway is one of five racetracks owned and operated by Gator Speedway Corporation (along with Forest Grove, Missoula, Dakotas and West Virginia; Circuit of the Ozarks was built by GSC but later sold to GP America Corp). It was bought by the GSC in 2019 as the firm's first-ever acquisition.
BSR did not always have the current configuration or safety setups. The track used to be 1.88 miles long and 10 turns, and also used to have large ditches on either side of the backstretch.
Grant Huxley and the Backstretch Ditches
In 2014, NWYRA Geico Cup Series competitor Grant Huxley was turned sideways by Christian Gallagher as they emerged from the tunnel, sending Huxley's No. 54 hard into the ditch and flipping end over end. Huxley would break his back in the incident and would only race part-time from then on.
BSR and NWYRA teamed up to regrade the backstretch, filling in the ditches at the top of the hill and regrading the racing surface near the bottom so as to make the hill steeper but eliminating the notorious ditches altogether.
The very next race, in 2015, David Cassill wrecked coming up the hill in much the same fashion as Huxley's wreck, but without the ditches to throw him airborne, his car sustained much less damage and he was uninjured.
Redesigning the Dive
In an example of good foresight, BSR redid the safety barriers in the Dive where the backstretch goes underneath the Crossover, adding tire packs all along the walls of the tunnel and SAFER barriers where possible. No car had hit these walls before these packs were installed in 2015 as an extension of the ditches project from the previous year, but in the first race after their installation (2016), Cory Bradwell's No. 42 hit the tires in the middle of the tunnel and Grant Huxley's No. 38 went wide and slammed into the SAFER barrier outside the tunnel. Neither driver was injured, and Huxley expressed praise for BSR's new safety measures where he had broken his back the year prior.
Alyssa Park and The Park
In 2018, NWYRA Geico Cup Series competitor Alyssa Park lost her brakes entering what was Turn 7 of the original 1.88-mile layout and her No. 50 slammed nearly head-on into the barrier lining the outside of the turn, tearing a hole in it.
The next year the track was redesigned to add a left-hand corner (the new Turn 7) and a triple-apex right-hander (coincidentally named the Park, but not specifically after Alyssa Park) at the end of the backstretch instead of a single sharp 110-degree corner.
Kyle Ashley, Madison Rogers-Sharpe and the Start-Finish Line
In 2027, NWYRA Geico Cup Series competitor Kyle Ashley won the event in a photo finish over Madison Rogers-Sharpe, but it cost him his car to do so. BSR's start-finish line is set so far down the frontstretch that in order to take Turn 1 at the proper speed and angle, cars must brake before they reach the start-finish line. In the photo finish, neither driver lifted, and both Ashley's No. 19 and Rogers-Sharpe's No. 34 blew through Turn 1 and into the SAFER barrier.
Due to the construction of pit road and the locations of the grandstands, moving the start-finish was not an option for the small BSR facility, but they did manage to extend the runoff area to permit cars to run full-throttle to and just past the start-finish line and still avoid the wall on the outside of Turn 1.
- In the 2016 NWYRA Geico Cup race, Jostein Kierkegaard passed Kurt McDonald in the old Turn 7 on the final lap for the race win.
- In the 2019 NWYRA Geico Cup race, Scott Davis won on a tire gamble and a green-white-checkered finish to win the first of his two Hail Mary races to sneak into the Chase for the Geico Cup.
- In the first NWYRA Geico Cup race in 2021, four-way rivals Eduardo Vasquez, James Carr, Kurt McDonald and Ryan Ramsey battled it out over the final ten laps with all but McDonald getting a share of the race lead. Vasquez would end up winning by a car length over Carr.
- In the 2024 NWYRA Geico Cup race, rookie Rosa Calderon passed both Brian Everson and Eduardo Vasquez on the final lap to win her second race in a row, setting an NWYRA record as the first driver to net their first two wins in consecutive races.
- In the 2027 NWYRA Geico Cup race, both Kyle Ashley and Madison Rogers-Sharpe refused to let off the gas on approach to the start-finish line, resulting in Ashley winning in a photo finish but both cars careening through Turn 1 and into the SAFER barrier.
- In the 2033 NWYRA Geico Cup race, Athanasios Panagopoulos led an ACR 1-3-4-5 finish, but was released from the organization at the end of the year due to cheating.