On September 2, 1990, the first race took place on the original circuit, which was won by Al Unser Jr. From 1998 a new circuit was created to the east of the old Pacific Place, where only a small part of the original circuit was used. The circuit was popular with drivers and often produced an entertaining race. However, from 2004, Vancouver was left off the Champ Car fixture list, and no race has taken place since.
For much of its time in Vancouver, the Molson Indy was a source of considerable local controversy, as local residents complained of the noise and disruption caused by this major event. As the lands of the former Expo 86 site were developed into the billion-dollar condominium development by Concord Pacific, debates raged over whether the Indy made Vancouver a "world-class city" or an "urban nightmare." Such debates were chronicled by Mark Douglas Lowes in his 2002 book, "Indy Dreams and Urban Nightmares: Speed Merchants, Spectacle, and the Struggle over Public Space in the World-Class City."
The only official explanation for the cancellation came from an Associated Press article stating "Indy-car race in Vancouver canceled: The Molson Indy Vancouver race was canceled after 15 years. 'The bottom line is the business model couldn't work,' said Jo-Ann McArthur, president of sponsoring Molson Sports and Entertainment."
At the inaugural race in 1990, a track worker pushing a car on the racing circuit was struck by another car after accidentally getting caught in its path. The worker, Jean Patrick Hein, was slammed to the ground and run over after running in front of Willy T. Ribbs' car and colliding with Ribbs' rear tire. Footage of the incident is included in the shock reality compilation Traces of Death.