NASCAR is coming back to Chicago — and this time, it’s going street racing.
The NASCAR Cup Series will compete on a street circuit in downtown Chicago in 2023, NASCAR announced July 19.
The series’ 2023 weekend will occur July 1-2, and IMSA will join the series at the course.
Cup will run the course on July 2, while IMSA will compete on July 1.
“Like the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, we seized an incredible opportunity to add an unprecedented element to our schedule and take center stage in the heart of another major metropolitan market,” Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing development and strategy, said in a release. “This is the ideal setting for the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street race. The NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen cars and the IMSA machines will race along the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago, marking a truly historic moment for our sport. We are very appreciative of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her team, along with the entire City of Chicago for working with us to make this concept a reality.”
The course is planned as a 12-turn, 2.2-mile course. According to the release, Columbus Drive, Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue are among the streets on which the course will be situated.
Here's a graphic of the proposed track layout for #NASCAR's Chicago street course.
Courtesy of the NASCAR media site. pic.twitter.com/1evE9GwLzF
— Daniel McFadin (@danielmcfadin) July 19, 2022
With the move to Chicago, NASCAR will not return to Road America in the Cup Series in 2023, according to Kennedy.
The news comes after The Athletic reported earlier this month that city officials had endorsed a bid for the race.
According to Kennedy, the move to Chicago is a three-year deal.
“Chicago’s streets are as iconic as our skyline and our reputation as a world class sports city is indisputable,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot added. “I am thrilled to welcome our partners at NASCAR to Chicago for an event that will attract thousands of people to our city. Chicago’s world class entertainment and hospitality industries, coupled with our city’s history as a conduit for sports talent, make us the perfect hosts for this unique event.”
Previously, NASCAR visited the Chicago area with years of events at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. NASCAR’s three national series and the ARCA Menards Series last competed at the track in 2019.
About the author
Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.
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