Ajallmendinger Xfinityseries 2022.jpg

Xfinity makes first visit to Portland

The NASCAR Xfinity Series ventures to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday for the Pacific Office Automation 147 at Portland International Raceway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The race marks the series‘ first visit to the flat 1.967-mile, 12-turn road course, which runs in a clockwise direction. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series raced at the track in 1999 and 2000, with Greg Biffle and Andy Houston, respectively, winning the two events there.

RELATED: Portland weekend schedule | Entry list

Road-course ace AJ Allmendinger, who won earlier this season at Circuit of The Americas, is the obvious favorite at Portland. In fact, Allmendinger has a history at the track.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to Portland,” Allmendinger said. “Last time I was there was 16 years ago when I was able to win my first Champ Car race. It‘s going to be truly special to go back to the track for the first time since then, and I think we will put on a great race for the Xfinity Series.”

Regardless of the outcome, the weekend promises to be an adventurous one for Allmendinger, who is also competing in the NASCAR Cup Series debut race at World Wide Technology Raceway on Sunday — without any prior laps in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

“I‘m looking forward to pulling some double duty and getting to drive the Cup car at Gateway on Sunday,” Allmendinger said. “I have never driven there and will miss practice and qualifying for the race, but I know we are up for the challenge that the weekend will bring.”