CBS Sports - The city of Chicago has endorsed a NASCAR street course race to be held for a three-year stretch beginning in 2023, according to a letter obtained by The Athletic via a public records request. While no contract has officially been signed between NASCAR and the city, an announcement is tentatively scheduled for July 19.
In a letter addressed to NASCAR senior vice president of racing development and strategy Ben Kennedy, the city expressed its enthusiasm about serving as the host of NASCAR street course races in 2023, 2024, and 2025. The letter was signed by Erin Harkey, the commissioner of the city's Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
"This would be a historic partnership for NASCAR and the city of Chicago, and our department is committed to collaborating and supporting NASCAR to execute the events in a safe and secure manner," read the letter.
The idea of a street course race in Chicago has been openly discussed for some time as NASCAR has looked to re-enter the market after the Chicagoland Speedway in nearby Joliet, Ill. was dropped from the schedule and eventually ceased racing operations. In 2021, a conceptual Chicago street course was piloted in iRacing, which incorporated parts of Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive and picturesque settings like Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain.
Arite guys, let me shoot you straight here.
I am absolutely NOT hating on this news. Whatsoever.
In fact, I am fucking pumped to hear this is happening. I caught the motorsport bug over Covid lockdowns like millions of other Americans. Not NASCAR, yet. But I love F1. (Forza Scuderia!) And after attending my first race at the Miami Grand Prix a couple of months ago, I am hooked.
I think all it would take for me to get into NASCAR would be to go to a race. From what I've seen, and heard from people, there isn't much you can compare to a huge NASCAR race day in person.
Getting the opportunity to watch V8s flying down Lake Shore Drive, onto Michigan Ave, crossing the Chicago River, and roaring through all the glass buildings in the most beautiful city in the country would be incredible.
It would help grow the sport, expose it to a ton of new fans, and possibly open the door for more street course races. And on top of it all, it'd give us another bonus visit from Large and Spider to Chicago.
Plus, the loser bicycle cult is up in arms about this-
so anything to piss them off we're in favor of.
My ONLY hang up with this thing, and it's a pretty big one, pertains to a question I have for the shot callers at NASCAR. And that is, "are you guys blind?"
Have you ever seen Chicago roads?
We have regular traffic jams due to how awful the pot hole situation is.
I don't want to pile on the Streets and Sanitation guys too bad here, (mostly because I've met a lot of them through Eddie, and play bocce with a couple), but if they don't have a racket going then I don't know what the hell is going on.
The same guys who plow the streets in the winter repair the pot holes in the summer… There are rumors out there, (it's not me saying this) that those workers fill the pot holes with sawdust and then patch them up knowing they'll be sink holes again in no time. And in the winter they keep those plows low and heavy.
The result is some of the roughest, cracked roads you will find anywhere.
And those are just the road hazards!
Factor in the carjackings at every red light or stop sign, and weaving in and out of some of the worst uber drivers in the country, and driving around Chicago is more like Mario Kart than anything.
So I'm all about this and can't wait for this race to happen, and everything that comes with it.
It's about time Chicago started getting in on this stuff.
By the way, we technically already have street racing here. It's not sanctioned or recognized, but it happens every weekend in the summer.
BUY BUY BUY