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.
EBFlex on Jul 20, 2022
“that stuff Fox News says about the city is mostly politically-motivated lies & exaggeration.”
Which part of the massive increase in crime in Chicago is politically motivated, lies, or exaggeration?
Check out https://heyjackass.com/ for some actual truth. The only one lying here is you
Alterboy21 6 days ago
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.
Latest Car Reviews
2021 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Convertible Reader Rental Review – California, Not Quite Dreamin'
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
- FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
- Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
- FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
- TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.