NASCAR Invading Downtown Chicago Next Summer [UPDATED]

nascar invading downtown chicago next summer updated

A bit of racing news has crossed the wire — news that is admittedly close to my heart since I live in the Windy City.

NASCAR is apparently coming to Chicago.


Not returning to Chicagoland Speedway in far southwest suburban Joliet, which coincidentally your author used as a backdrop for some test-vehicle photos this past weekend. No. Instead, the stock cars will be racing on the streets of the Chi.

The race weekend appears slated for July 1-2, and it also appears to be the first of a three-year deal.

Sadly, it also might mean NASCAR won’t go to the famed Road America track near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (about a three-hour drive from Chicago) next year. I attended the 2021 race and enjoyed it immensely, despite the heat. NASCAR should, in my opinion, be at Road America every year.

That said, I am sure NASCARs bouncing and sliding around the Loop will be a sight to behold, though I also know how badly shutting down downtown streets will screw up traffic. Us locals already deal with the music festival Lollapalooza every year — and the street closures needed for a stock-car race will involve a bigger chunk of land.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the race course will be 2.2 miles long and be north of Roosevelt Road, making use of Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue, and DuSable Lake Shore Drive. It might go as far north as Jackson Boulevard, which is part of the old Route 66.

For non-locals, that is most of you, this means the route will be in the heart of downtown, near the famous Grant Park. I’d expect Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, and the famed Buckingham Fountain to be part of the backdrop.

It’s also criminal if they don’t recreate The Blues Brothers (or The Dark Knight, for you younger folk) and use part of Lower Wacker Drive.

Non-race fans will complain, NASCAR fans will descend upon downtown, the Sears (now Willis) Tower will look great on TV, and the racecar engines will sound great bouncing around the urban canyons, to the dismay of local residents hoping for an afternoon nap.

Should be fun.

Update: It appears this became official as I working on the post. See you next summer, NASCAR.

[Image: NASCAR]

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  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Jul 20, 2022

    How many race team members will get carjacked while in Chicago?

  • Alterboy21 Alterboy21 on Aug 01, 2022

    What everyone missed is that Chicago has designed the track to maximize revenues from all the speed cameras that litter the city (that fine starting at 6 MPH over the limit!). NASCAR will owe the city like a bazillion in fines.


    That said, as a Chicagoan, I look forward to a great show.

  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!
  • Lou_BC Stupid to kill the 6ft box in the crewcab. That's the most common Canyon/Colorado trim I see. That kills the utility of a small truck. The extended cab was a poor seller so that makes sense. GM should have kept the diesel. It's a decent engine that mates well with the 6 speed. Fuel economy is impressive.
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  • EBFlex "I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price."Demand is very low. Supply is even lower. Saying that demand is outstripping supply without providing context is dishonest at best.
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