NASCAR’s Chicago Street race will take place this July, but it will also bring plenty of changes in the weeks before and after the highly anticipated event.
The race, which will see NASCAR drivers speeding around downtown Chicago, is set to bring thousands of fans to the city, spark numerous road closures and make history as the first of its kind.
Here’s what fans and city residents should know about the NASCAR Chicago Street Race before it kicks off.
When is the NASCAR Chicago Street Race?
The NASCAR Cup Series street course race will take place on July 2 and will be preceded by an IMSA-sanctioned series race, which will run on July 1.
How can I get tickets to the NASCAR event in Chicago?
Tickets to the race are already on sale.
General admission tickets to the event were listed to the public, with two-day prices starting at $269.
The event also released two-day reserved tickets starting at $465, offering reserved seating “and a wide variety of premium experiences.”
What is the course route for the race?
The proposed 12-turn, 2.2-mile course will take drivers onto major city roads like Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, taking them along Lake Michigan and around the city’s popular Grant Park.
The start and finish line and pit road will be located along South Columbus Drive directly in front of Buckingham Fountain. The course will pass through the famed Grant Park, the northern edge of Soldier Field and more.
The front straightaway and pit road will be housed on South Columbus Drive, running along a two-block stretch that will take the race past the iconic Buckingham Fountain.
The drivers will hang a left onto East Balbo Drive, heading toward Lake Michigan.
Drivers will then turn right onto the southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive, hurtling toward the Museum Campus with the Field Museum ahead of them and with the softball fields at Grant Park on their right.
The slow right-hand curve in front of the Field Museum will mark the third turn on the track.
Drivers will hang a 90-degree turn onto East Roosevelt Road at the southernmost point of the circuit.
Drivers will then turn back onto South Columbus Drive, heading northward down a long straightaway.
At one of the most interesting parts of the race-track, the drivers will hang a left onto East Balbo Drive, coming close to where Turn One is located.
A right-hand turn onto South Michigan Avenue will send the drivers heading back toward the north and into a chicane, representing one of the most challenging spots on the track.
Drivers will follow the curve of Congress Plaza to the right, beginning a sweeping chicane that will take drivers across Ida B. Wells Drive.
This turn will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain, and will send drivers back toward the left and back toward Michigan Avenue.
This turn will put drivers briefly back onto Michigan Avenue, heading northward as they make another quick right-hand turn.
This turn represents the most northerly portion of the course, with drivers hanging another right onto East Jackson Drive. The famous lions of the Art Institute of Chicago will also be near this turn at the intersection of Michigan and Jackson.
This turn will put drivers back on the front straightaway, sending them to the right and back down Columbus Drive for a long straightaway.
What will the festival weekend include?
NASCAR announced a lineup of some big-name artists who will headline concerts as part of a two-day festival with the historic event. The racing giant revealed The Chainsmokers, Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes and Charley Crockett will perform as part of the NASCAR Cup Series’ Chicago Street Race July 1-2.
All tickets will include access to races and concerts.
Here’s a look at the schedule so far:
- Xfinity Series and Cup Series practice and qualifying
- The Black Crowes concert.
- Xfinity Series race
- The Chainsmokers
- Charley Crockett
- Miranda Lambert
- First-ever Cup Series street race
What if I can’t attend in person?
The NASCAR Cup Series street course race will be televised on NBC.
When and where will street closures be in place?
The planned closures will begin in early June and continue through mid-July as crews both set up and tear down the miles-long course throughout the city.
Residents can expect disruptions as closures will be in place on highly-trafficked roads like DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive, Jackson Drive, Balbo Drive and Michigan Avenue, adding to a long list of traffic trouble for drivers already battling major construction on the Kennedy Expressway and elsewhere.
The biggest interruptions are slated to begin on June 25. (Full timeline of closures here)
“The city of Chicago has been working with NASCAR in the planning and execution of the race to minimize disruptions to residents and visitors while making it a safe event for everyone,” Rich Guidice, executive director of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, said in a statement. “Safety is our top priority, and we will help monitor all race activity leading up to the event, through the race weekend, and following the event to help coordinate city resources and expectations.”
How loud will it be and for how long?
Race officials said they anticipate less than 10 hours of track time in total over the course of two days.
“Typically, when you go to a NASCAR race, there are race cars on the track basically from sunup to sundown with practice and qualifying and race sessions,” said Julie Geise, president of NASCAR Chicago Street Race. “Ours is less than 10 hours across the two days. I think when you add it up, it’s just just over nine hours actually.
Geise noted that the event anticipates “being quiet no later than 10 p.m., ideally earlier if schedules allow.”
Officials said they have also been testing mufflers for the race itself to limit noise levels.
What about weather?
Race officials said during a community meeting that the race will be able to go on in wet weather, but will likely be unable to go forward if there is standing water or lightning.
If weather forces a postponement on Saturday, that race would likely move to Sunday and both races could be conducted on Sunday. An alternate plan would see one race performed on Monday.
“Monday would be that final rain day,” Geise said. “And that would be our our plan B if needed. I will say one thing we’ve talked about … we are committed to getting the races in Saturday and Sunday if at all possible.”
What else should you know about the event?
Chicago Street Race weekend will mark NASCAR’s first Chicago-area event in years. The company used to host races at Joliet’s Chicagoland Speedway from 2001 to 2019.
“The Chicago Street Race is truly a first-of-its-kind two-day sports and entertainment event in the 75-year history of NASCAR,” Chicago Street Race President Julie Giese said in a statement. “We are proud to welcome superstars The Chainsmokers, Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes, and Charley Crockett as we reimagine the NASCAR experience in the heart of downtown Chicago over Fourth of July weekend.”
It will also be the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street race.
But it wouldn’t be the first time a NASCAR series is held in the Chicago area. From 2001-2019, The NASCAR Cup series was held at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet on a closed course.And in June of 2021, NASCAR and iRacing held an televised Esports 2.2-mile virtual race through the city, over Lakeshore Drive, Michigan Avenue and near Grant Park.
Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/nascar-chicago-street-race/tickets-timing-closures-and-more-what-to-know-about-the-nascar-street-race-in-chicago/3144090/