NASCAR to race on the streets of Chicago for the first time


For the first time ever, the sights, sounds and speed of NASCAR are coming to the streets of downtown Chicago on July 1-2, 2023. One of the most iconic cities in the world, Chicago will add another chapter to its illustrious sports history when the NASCAR Cup Series debuts against the backdrop of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline in the Grant Park 220 on Sunday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

“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,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing development and strategy. “This is the ideal setting for the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street race. The NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen cars will race along the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago, marking a truly historic moment for our sport.”

Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive and select surrounding thoroughfares will be transformed into a 12-turn, 2.2-mile street course, with the start/finish line and pit road located along South Columbus Drive directly in front of Buckingham Fountain. The course will pass through the famed Grant Park, as well as approach the northern edge of Soldier Field, one of the most notable and recognizable sports venues in the country – and the site of the only other Cup Series race to take place in Downtown Chicago, in 1956.

“Welcoming yet another NASCAR event to Illinois just weeks after the inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300 Cup Series race is a testament to the strength of our tourism industry from Chicago to Metro East,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois, with its longstanding tradition of innovation, is a fitting host for NASCAR’s first-ever street race, and we are thrilled to welcome this new series to America’s most iconic drive.”

The Chicago Street Race will become the 177th different track the NASCAR Cup Series has competed on its 75 year history.

“I think it’s a good idea, I’ve just never done street racing before,” said current point standing leader Martin Truex Jr. “I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a good time and it’s going to go off well. I have no idea the logistics involved. I can’t even imagine what goes into it. It’s going to be interesting to see a street course with these cars, what the grip level might be in each corner. You just wonder what the difference is in each turn – that’s the competitor side of me thinking. On the race fan side, it seems like it’s going to be cool, so we will see how it goes. Hopefully, it’s a good turnout and it goes off well. I enjoy tracks that are unique and challenging and it’s always a good challenge to learn a new place.”

On-track action for the NASCAR Cup Series will get started with a practice and Busch Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET, both events will be televised on the USA Network. 

More Than Racing: The Chainsmokers, Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes, Charley Crockett to Headline Chicago Street Race Concerts

Fans will have tons to do this weekend at the Chicago Street Race. NASCAR has announced that The Chainsmokers and Miranda Lambert will headline full-length concerts with the support of The Black Crowes and Charley Crockett for the first-ever street race weekend in the NASCAR Cup Series, on July 1-2. The unprecedented 12-turn, 2.2-mile street race will take the Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series past and through many of Chicago’s most renowned downtown landmarks as part of a two-day festival during Fourth of July Weekend.

“The Chicago Street Race is truly a first-of-its-kind two-day sports and entertainment event in the 75-year history of NASCAR,” said Chicago Street Race President Julie Giese. “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.”

On Saturday, July 1, the Chicago Street Race will feature Xfinity Series and Cup Series practice and qualifying followed by The Black Crowes concert. Following the Xfinity Series race, The Chainsmokers will take the stage for a full-length concert to close the first day. On Sunday, July 2, Charley Crockett will open with Miranda Lambert headlining a full-length concert in advance of the first-ever Cup Series street race – the Grant Park 220.

The Chainsmokers, Alexander “Alex” Pall and Andrew “Drew” Taggert, are recognized as two of the best electronic dance musicians with a diverse portfolio of songs that has led them to become one of the hottest recording artists in the world. In 2016, the duo burst on the scene with three multi-Platinum certified hits including the GRAMMY nominated song “Closer.” The group has won multiple awards including the 2017 GRAMMY for Best Dance Recording (“Don’t Let Me Down”), two American Music Awards (2016, 2017) and 10 Billboard Music Awards. The Chainsmokers fourth studio album “So Far So Good” debuted last year at No. 1 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Album Chart. For more information on The Chainsmokers, visit

Lambert is one of country music’s most acclaimed performers and songwriters. Palomino, the eighth solo album from Vanner Records/RCA Nashville superstar Lambert, is the latest installment in a storied career that has spanned seven No. 1 solo albums, 10 No. 1 hit radio singles, more than 70 prestigious awards (including three GRAMMY Awards and a record-setting 37 ACM Awards) plus countless sales certifications, earning the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year praise from NPR as “the most riveting country star of her generation.” To learn more about Lambert, visit

The Black Crowes, led by brothers Chris and Rich Robinson, released their debut album Shake Your Money Maker over 30 years ago. Fueled by singles “JealousAgain,” “Twice As Hard,” “She Talks to Angels,” and the breakthrough cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle,” the band immediately took the rock world by storm. The Black Crowes has released eight studio albums and four live albums, selling tens of millions of albums and selling out shows around the world. To learn more about The Black Crowes and their authentic gritty blues-rock sound, visit

Crockett crafts his singular “Gulf & Western” sound by synthesizing country, blues, soul, cajun, R&B and other pieces of American roots music. And when his voice comes out of your speakers, there is no confusing him for any other artist. Crockett released his latest album The Man From Waco last fall via Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers. Crockett wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on the album, which finds Crockett refining his “Gulf & Western” sound that continues to captivate his ever-growing legion of fans. For more information on Crockett, visit

Sunday’s Grant Park 220 to be NASCAR’s 100th race in the state of Illinois

NASCAR is no stranger to the state of Illinois, and this weekend the sanctioning-body will host its 100th NASCAR national series race in the prairie state welcoming the newly designed Chicago Street Race – the sixth different track NASCAR has competed on in Illinois.

The first NASCAR national series race held in the state of Illinois was a NASCAR Cup Series event at Santa Fe Speedway in Willow Springs, Illinois. The event was held on July 10, 1954 and it was won by Dick Rathman driving a Hudson for car owner John Ditz. Finishing runner-up in the race was NASCAR Hall of Famer Hershel McGriff also driving a Hudson.

In total, NASCAR has previous competed on five tracks in Illinois with Chicagoland Speedway (2001-2019) hosted the most (54 races) of the five facilities.

NASCAR Tracks in IllinoisCityCupXfinityTruckCombinedFirst Year
Chicagoland SpeedwayJoliet192411542001
World Wide Technology RacewayMadison21523401997
Chicago Motor SpeedwayCicero00222000
Santa Fe SpeedwayWillow Springs10011954
Soldier FieldChicago10011956

This weekend will also not be the first time the NASCAR Cup Series has competed in Downtown Chicago. In 1956, the series competed at Soldier Field and the race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Fireball Roberts in a Pete DePaolo Ford. Most recently the NASCAR Cup Series competed at World Wide Technology Raceway on

Race To The Playoffs: Chastain the latest to lock into the postseason with a win

Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain has become the 11th different driver to win this season and lock himself into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after taking the checkered flag in a dominate performance at Nashville Superspeedway last weekend. With 11 spots in the Playoffs already taken and only nine races left until the postseason, time and space is running out for competitors to earn their spot.

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Outlook – Drivers Without Wins This Season
RankDrivers Without WinsStartsPointsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff Pts+/- Cutoff
12Kevin Harvick17515011164
13Brad Keselowski1745001199
14Chris Buescher1744901198
15Bubba Wallace1738100030
16Daniel Suarez173530002
17Alex Bowman*1435100-5-2
18Ty Gibbs #17343000-10
19AJ Allmendinger17329000-24
20Michael McDowell17326000-27
21Corey LaJoie17308000-45
22Austin Cindric17302011-51
23Justin Haley17298000-55
24Ryan Preece17290011-63
25Chase Elliott*10289011-64
26Todd Gilliland17281000-72
27Aric Almirola17272011-81
28Austin Dillon1724700-5-106
29Harrison Burton17235000-118
30Erik Jones1722000-5-133
31Chase Briscoe1718900-25-164
32Noah Gragson #*16154000-199
33Ty Dillon17151000-202

Holding the most comfortable spots on the Playoff outlook of the drivers without wins, is Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, who is 164 points ahead of the Playoff cutline. RFK Racing teammates Brad Keselowski (+99 points) and Chris Buescher (+98 points) are also in good standing heading into this weekend. But 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace (+30 points) in 15th and Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez (+2 points) in 16th will have their work cut out for them if they want to hold on to their positions. 

Currently there are five drivers that made the Playoffs last season that are below the postseason cutline heading into this weekend – Alex Bowman (-2 points), Austin Cindric (-51), Chase Elliott (-64), Austin Dillon (-106), and Chase Briscoe (-164).

Road Course Aces: NASCAR’s best in road racing

Though this weekend’s race is technically on a ‘street course’ and not a ‘road course’ a similar approach to being successful this Sunday will apply. NASCAR’s active road course wins leader, Hendrick Motorsport’s Chase Elliott, heads into this weekend looking for his first win of the season and is already considered one of the early favorites for this weekend, but the most recent winner on a road course in the series and current points leader Martin Truex Jr. will most certainly be in the mix as well.

Active Road Course Winners (13)Total WinsSonomaWGICharlotteDaytonaIndyCOTARoad America
Chase Elliott70221011
Martin Truex Jr54100000
Kyle Busch42200000
Kyle Larson41210000
Tyler Reddick30000111
Kevin Harvick21100000
AJ Allmendinger20100100
Christopher Bell20011000
Joey Logano10100000
Ryan Blaney10010000
Denny Hamlin10100000
Daniel Suárez11000000
Ross Chastain10000010

The NASCAR Cup Series has competed on two road courses this season so far, with 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick winning at Austin (COTA) and Truex winning at Sonoma.


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