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NASCAR to Race on the Chicago Streets

The NASCAR Cup Series made an announcement Tuesday that starting next year, they will be racing on the streets of Chicago. This marks the first race on a street course for the NASCAR Cup Series in the 21st century. The race will take place on July 2, 2023.

NASCAR to Race on the Chicago Streets
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR to Race on the Chicago Streets

The race had been rumored for a while now but was not announced until now. Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy, said “We want to be bold and innovative as we think about new venues and new concepts.” The race will have Lake Michigan and Grant Park as a backdrop for the inaugural race. Joining the NASCAR Cup Series that weekend is the NASCAR-owned IMSA Series. The two races will take place the weekend leading up to the 4th of July.

The NASCAR Cup Series has not raced in the Chicago area since before the COVID-19 pandemic started. June 2019 was the last race held in the Chicago area, with the race being remembered as Alex Bowman’s first win. Chicagoland’s 2020 date was canceled and the track’s race date was off the schedule in 2021.

The Joliet, IL track then announced it had been sold to developers and would be demolished. The track has not been demolished yet, but it hosts no races in 2022 for any series.

The casualty in all of this is Road America, which will lose its date on the Cup Series schedule. Road America has been on the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series schedules the past two seasons. It was a welcomed change by the fans, but the racing was average at best. The track was given the 4th of July weekend date from Daytona. It remains to be seen if the Xfinity Series will continue racing at Road America.

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