For the first time ever NASCAR is introducing a street race into their Cup Series. A race-style typically saved for open-wheel racing like Formula 1, this will be the first time stock cars are taken away from their standard oval tracks and placed onto a street course. NASCAR has chosen Chicago as the prime location for its Street Race Weekend, a city that used to host a race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet from 2001-2019.
However, this will be a completely different animal. Taking these cars through the tall buildings of Chicago and along iconic Lake Michigan will make for some scenic moments. On top of the racing, the city has planned out a festival surrounding the events hosted by NASCAR. Musical guests, The Black Crowes, The Chainsmokers, Charley Crockett, and Miranda Lambert will all perform, it is slated to be an action-packed weekend at Grant Park.
Saturday, July 1st – Sunday, July 2nd. Gates open at 9 am both days.
The 12-turn track is placed between Michigan Ave. and Lake Shore Drive. It goes around Grant park and crosses in front of Buckingham Fountain. South Columbus Dr. will be transformed into the pit lane for the race with multiple streets lined by Grandstands for the events. I mean, just look how badass this eNASCAR race looks.
Saturday, July 1 (Gates open at 9 am)
- 10:00 am – Practice and Qualifying
- TBD – Pre-Race Concert ft. The Black Crowes
- 4:00 pm – Nascar Xfinity Series Race
- TBD – Post-Race Concert ft. The Chainsmokers
Sunday, July 2 (Gates open at 9 am)
- TBD – Pre-Race Concert ft. Charley Crockett and Miranda Lambert
- 4:30pm – NASCAR Cup Series Race
- TBD – Victory Lane Celebration
On top of the NASCAR Chicago Street Race, multiple shows and concerts are planned with Grant Park being a Concert Venue. From the looks of the planning, it looks like a jam-packed weekend. With more than just the races on offer, there will be enough entertainment for anyone looking for something to fill their weekend.
There are multiple different ticket packages available to suit whatever needs you may need. General Admission tickets get you access to both days of the event
- General Admission: $269
- General Admission+: $353
- Field Reserved: $521
- Michigan Reserved: $465
Premium Hospitality Clubs
- Fountain Club: $1,417
- Balbo Club: $857 (SOLD OUT)
- President’s Paddock Club: $3,377
Suites: Congress Suite and Garden Suite: Scheduled by Call
On top of all these different ticket packages, there is also the NASCAR Chicago Experiences. These provide racing fans with unparalleled access to the Race, premium seating locations, driver meet-and-greets, pit lane walks and so much more. The information on different packages can be found here.
Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (TIL this is a thing) announced today the traffic plan, closures and restrictions for the July 1st and 2nd event. One of the biggest question marks surrounding the inaugural NASCAR Chicago Street Race event would be how the event would impact commuting in the Loop and highways toward to city. As we know, the inbound Kennedy is already going to be an absolute nightmare for the next three years. The Jane Byrne Interchange just completed it’s three-decade construction project. It’s just a mess. Here’s how the mess on steroids will go come the end of June.
Below is a timeline of some key dates in June and July as the city (and you) prepare for NASCAR weekend, via the OEMC release:
- Friday, June 2 – Parking restrictions along Columbus Dr. between Jackson Dr. and Balbo Dr.
- Saturday, June 10 – Ida B. Wells Dr. will close east of Michigan Ave. at 12:01 a.m. as construction begins on the main viewing areas.
- Saturday, June 17 to Sunday, June 25 – Temporary closures for track wall installation.
- Monday, June 19 – Balbo Dr. from Michigan Ave. to DuSable Lake Shore Drive will close at 6 a.m
Here are some of the major closers that will start to take place the week of the event.
- Sunday, June 25 – At 12:01 a.m., Jackson Dr. will close between Michigan Ave. and Columbus Dr. with that road closing between Jackson Dr. and Roosevelt Rd.
- Monday, June 26 – Starting at 6 a.m., Congress Plaza Dr. will close and lane closures will start on eastbound Roosevelt Road between Columbus Dr. and DuSable Lake Shore Dr.
- Tuesday, June 27 – Starting at 6 a.m., curb lane closure begins on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Dr. between Balbo Dr. and Roosevelt Rd. for track barrier installation.
- Wednesday, June 28 – Beginning at 10 p.m., curb lane closure starts on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Dr. between Balbo Dr. and Roosevelt Rd. for track barrier installation.
- Thursday, June 29 – Beginning at 8 p.m., northbound Michigan Ave. closes between Balbo Dr. and Jackson Dr., and traffic lane closure of southbound Michigan Ave. between Balbo Dr. and Jackson Dr.
- Thursday, June 29 – Starting at 10 p.m., southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive closes between Monroe Dr. and McFetridge Rd. and closure of Roosevelt Rd. between Columbus Dr. and DuSable Lake Shore Dr.
- Friday, June 30 – Beginning at 5 p.m., southbound Michigan Ave. closes between Balbo Dr. and Jackson Dr.
- Saturday, July 1 – At 4 a.m., northbound DuSable Lake Shore Dr. will close between McFetridge Dr. and Randolph St. as an added safety precaution. That will begin to be reopened on Sunday, July 2.
Additionally, streets will start to reopen as early at July 3rd, with the priority being reopening streets like Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, and Columbus Drive. Other closures will remain as the track wall and fence as well as viewing structures are taken down. Per WGN, all activities with the race are expected to be completed in full by Saturday, July 15. As the event continues, the Chicago Park District plans to keep more than half the park open during the event, which includes the set-up and tear-down. That includes Buckingham Fountain, Butler Field, and Lower Hutchinson Field, according to the OEMC release.
Image Credit: NASCAR Chicago