IMSA Joins NASCAR at the Chicago Street Race in 2023

Colin
By Colin Wood
Jul 20, 2022 | IMSA, nascar, Street Circuit, Cup Series, Chicago

Image Courtesy NASCAR

NASCAR announced today plans to run a street circuit in Chicago in 2023, a first for the Cup Series.

Set for July 2, 2023, the race will be preceded by an IMSA-sanctioned race on July 1.

The planned 2.2-mile circuit will feature 12 turns and incorporate Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, with the start-finish line and pit road set along South Columbus Drive–just in front of Buckingham Fountain.

Tickets for the upcoming race, as well as the rest of the 2023 schedule, will be announced at a later date.

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
7/19/22 4:09 p.m.

I'm 100% on board for this.

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
7/19/22 4:16 p.m.

OK, I have to ask: Where do people feel there will be opportunities to pass? I'm betting turns 4 and 6 will be action-packed.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/19/22 4:21 p.m.

This track has existed in iRacing for a while and it's sketchy AF. The numerous square corners after long traights make for a few good passing spots, but that whole section from 7-11 is basically one car wide. So they're either going to have to do some real road engineering to get it better than the sim or theyre going to need a LOT of tow trucks.

trigun7469
trigun7469 UltraDork
7/19/22 4:26 p.m.

Looks like a FE track. 4000 pound monster with 850 Horsepower, should get the city some new buildings and a park laugh

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/19/22 4:45 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

So SCCA Regional the Thursday before? 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
7/19/22 5:53 p.m.

Too many 90s for my taste.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/19/22 7:44 p.m.
trigun7469 said:

Looks like a FE track. 4000 pound monster with 850 Horsepower, should get the city some new buildings and a park laugh

Well 3200lbs and 670 hp

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/19/22 10:56 p.m.
GCrites80s said:

Too many 90s for my taste.

I live in the Chicago 'burbs.  I know these streets - those 90's suck.  The ones onto Michigan Avenue?   LOL.  

RadBarchetta
RadBarchetta New Reader
7/20/22 11:40 a.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

Maybe we could get The Outfield to play the infield to inject some 80s into the mix?

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
7/20/22 3:38 p.m.

^If hiring a band is easy way to move track barriers, sidewalks and buildings, every street race should have a band

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/20/22 3:54 p.m.

There's hardly any space for passing on those roads, but it doesn't seem to stop the locals!

I'd totally go watch something like this!

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/20/22 5:30 p.m.

Ok so who runs a Blues Brothers themed black-and-white?

DrMikeCSI
DrMikeCSI New Reader
7/20/22 6:48 p.m.

Won't closing Lakeshore paralyze Chicago traffic?  

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/22 6:34 a.m.
 
stafford1500 said:

Ok so who runs a Blues Brothers themed black-and-white?

I'd guess Corey LaJoie.  His team doesn't miss a chance to have a fun car. 
 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/21/22 9:42 a.m.
stafford1500 said:

Ok so who runs a Blues Brothers themed black-and-white?

I was thinking that as well. 

"Well, this is definitely Lower Wacker Drive."

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
7/21/22 11:27 a.m.

They (nascar) can't even drive in a circle correctly....

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/22 11:50 a.m.
DrMikeCSI said:

Won't closing Lakeshore paralyze Chicago traffic?  

Trucks (including pickup trucks) already need to find another way. So at least we know alternate routes exist?

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
7/21/22 11:55 a.m.

Those hard 90 corners look killer. I'm curious but I don't have high hopes. 

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
7/21/22 1:23 p.m.

Chicago shuts down those streets for events all the time throughout the summer.  I have run 5k's down LSD on more than one occasion and they find a way to make it work.  

I do think it's funny that the same week that Chicago alderman advocate to pass laws that limit street racing / drifting in Chicago they also allow a 'street race' to the city.  

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/2-controversial-ordinances-up-to-vote-at-chicago-city-council-10k-fines-for-illegal-street-racing-and-speed-camera-tickets/2886197/

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/21/22 1:25 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
stafford1500 said:

Ok so who runs a Blues Brothers themed black-and-white?

I was thinking that as well. 

"Well, this is definitely Lower Wacker Drive."

Now I am going to have to PhotoShop a paint scheme just for fun

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/22 2:42 p.m.
ClearWaterMS said:

Chicago shuts down those streets for events all the time throughout the summer.  I have run 5k's down LSD on more than one occasion and they find a way to make it work.  

I do think it's funny that the same week that Chicago alderman advocate to pass laws that limit street racing / drifting in Chicago they also allow a 'street race' to the city.  

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/2-controversial-ordinances-up-to-vote-at-chicago-city-council-10k-fines-for-illegal-street-racing-and-speed-camera-tickets/2886197/

Well, we also have a perfectly good nascar track here that we are closing down because "no one likes nascar anymore" (or some other nonsense).

Maybe we should let the street racers use the high speed oval? I think that's another event I might be interested in watching...

Edit: for the street racers on the oval, can we take a step back toward horse racing? Give everyone 1 lap from a standing start and go 8 wide. All racers have to choose crazy names for their cars, and the real event for attendees is the betting. It could be fun, right?

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/21/22 2:48 p.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
ClearWaterMS said:

Chicago shuts down those streets for events all the time throughout the summer.  I have run 5k's down LSD on more than one occasion and they find a way to make it work.  

I do think it's funny that the same week that Chicago alderman advocate to pass laws that limit street racing / drifting in Chicago they also allow a 'street race' to the city.  

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/2-controversial-ordinances-up-to-vote-at-chicago-city-council-10k-fines-for-illegal-street-racing-and-speed-camera-tickets/2886197/

Well, we also have a perfectly good nascar track here that we are closing down because "no one likes nascar anymore" (or some other nonsense).

Maybe we should let the street racers use the high speed oval? I think that's another event I might be interested in watching...

Robbie, are you speaking of the oval on the other side of Joliet or the old horse track turned car track in Cicero?

I have been at both with professionally sanctioned events and would much prefer the Joliet track. However, the street course brings lots of new eyes and is a spectacle that just happens to have car racing around. Think Long Beach. Not a great track to watch in person but the people watching is GREAT.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/21/22 2:52 p.m.
stafford1500 said:
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
ClearWaterMS said:

Chicago shuts down those streets for events all the time throughout the summer.  I have run 5k's down LSD on more than one occasion and they find a way to make it work.  

I do think it's funny that the same week that Chicago alderman advocate to pass laws that limit street racing / drifting in Chicago they also allow a 'street race' to the city.  

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/2-controversial-ordinances-up-to-vote-at-chicago-city-council-10k-fines-for-illegal-street-racing-and-speed-camera-tickets/2886197/

Well, we also have a perfectly good nascar track here that we are closing down because "no one likes nascar anymore" (or some other nonsense).

Maybe we should let the street racers use the high speed oval? I think that's another event I might be interested in watching...

Robbie, are you speaking of the oval on the other side of Joliet or the old horse track turned car track in Cicero?

I have been at both with professionally sanctioned events and would much prefer the Joliet track. However, the street course brings lots of new eyes and is a spectacle that just happens to have car racing around. Think Long Beach. Not a great track to watch in person but the people watching is GREAT.

Chicagoland speedway in Joliet hasn't held racing since 2019

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/22 2:53 p.m.

In reply to stafford1500 :

I was talking about Joliet. It's just funny that we are shutting it down only to instead host a street race. I don't disagree with the idea of a street race at all, I love it, and I think it's the kind of creative idea that nascar needs to keep moving forward.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
7/21/22 10:20 p.m.

Joilet is being sold to warehouse developers from what I hear. There's already warehouses near it which is a sign that anything close by is next.

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
7/22/22 6:25 a.m.

Those turns make my brakes hurt.  1 and 6 must have a fence between them huh?  

Normal roads are at least five lanes wide, how is there not room to pass, it only take two car widths plus a couple inches to pass.  Or are we talking about equally powered cars that need a mile plus to have room to pass?

I would go watch this, we just need a bus route and somewhere for a GRM crew to meet.  Grand Rapids had a one year only GRGP, engines echoing off buildings sounds great for miles.

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
7/22/22 7:11 a.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Grand Rapids race was cool but having to overnight quikcrete the manhole covers down because of the transam cars aero wasn't fun...

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
7/22/22 9:33 a.m.

I can't wait for this to be an utter E36 M3 show like the Baltimore street circuit. 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/22/22 1:57 p.m.
Ranger50 said:

In reply to akylekoz :

Grand Rapids race was cool but having to overnight quikcrete the manhole covers down because of the transam cars aero wasn't fun...

When the world sports car championship raced on Montreal they ducked a manhole cover off leading to a crash and fire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990_480_km_of_Montreal

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/22/22 1:58 p.m.
akylekoz said:

Those turns make my brakes hurt.  1 and 6 must have a fence between them huh?  

Normal roads are at least five lanes wide, how is there not room to pass, it only take two car widths plus a couple inches to pass.  Or are we talking about equally powered cars that need a mile plus to have room to pass?

I would go watch this, we just need a bus route and somewhere for a GRM crew to meet.  Grand Rapids had a one year only GRGP, engines echoing off buildings sounds great for miles.

Traditionally for nascar martinsville is the hardest track for brakes.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/22/22 6:59 p.m.

In reply to MotorsportsGordon :

Why don't they just weld the manhole covers E36 M3 like we do for parades and New Years?  They don't budge. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/22/22 7:39 p.m.
MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/22/22 9:20 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

Been there, done that 

https://www.autoweek.com/racing/nascar/a1689301/look-back-soldier-field-chicago-once-hosted-nascar-cup-race/

And racing there was promoted by Andy granatelli

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/23/22 1:08 p.m.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/23/22 7:44 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

Well Scott Dixon and dario franchitti got robbed at a Taco Bell near indianapolis motor speedway

slefain
slefain UltimaDork
7/23/22 8:33 p.m.

Yank the barriers at 1 and 5 to make it a figure-8 track. If NASCAR is going to keep doing these stunt races, go all out.

Cheeks
Cheeks New Reader
7/25/22 11:24 a.m.

gene and judes and some nascar, might be worth the drive 

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/25/22 6:37 p.m.

This joke of a race replacing Road America on the Cup schedule is pure stupidity at its finest.  I thoroughly enjoyed the RA race this year and the year prior, as apparently did the other 120,000 plus fans there both years.  Yes, I'm po'd.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/25/22 7:30 p.m.
slefain said:

Yank the barriers at 1 and 5 to make it a figure-8 track. If NASCAR is going to keep doing these stunt races, go all out.

Andy granatelli did all sorts of stuff promoting racing at soldier field he had drivers on contract who put on a show and usually didn't win. He would have dummy's fall out of the ambulance.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/25/22 7:55 p.m.

In reply to einy (Forum Supporter) :

X10 - RA is an awesome place and Chicago is going to fumble this.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/25/22 8:39 p.m.

In reply to einy (Forum Supporter) :

I would rather it replace one of the dates at a place like Pocono that has two races, almost always sucks and is a miserable fan experience rather than RA but I'm looking forward to it. Every time they tried something different there was a chorus of "It's going to be terribles!!" And most of them worked out fairly well. I'm happy they're trying something different.  

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
7/25/22 8:53 p.m.
einy (Forum Supporter) said:

This joke of a race replacing Road America on the Cup schedule is pure stupidity at its finest.  I thoroughly enjoyed the RA race this year and the year prior, as apparently did the other 120,000 plus fans there both years.  Yes, I'm po'd.

Oh, Road America replaced Chicagoland didn't it? And this replaces Road America. Now I really don't like it.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
7/25/22 8:54 p.m.
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to einy (Forum Supporter) :

I would rather it replace one of the dates at a place like Pocono that has two races, almost always sucks and is a miserable fan experience rather than RA but I'm looking forward to it. Every time they tried something different there was a chorus of "It's going to be terribles!!" And most of them worked out fairly well. I'm happy they're trying something different.  

I like Pocono but once a year is enough. Maybe their contract didn't expire in 2020 like a lot of the other ones did.

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/25/22 9:25 p.m.

Once Pocono got with the plan and opened the infield to campers they got a great turnout for last weekend's race.  But, once a year is enough.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/25/22 10:05 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

Pocono will likely keep their second date for a long time, I believe they've had a connection with the France family since they opened iirc.  I haven't been there in 20 years but I remember every time we forget whst an awful track it was and went back we regretted it. Between having the stands on the wrong side so the trioval is as far away as possibly, the almost daily storms, and fairly dull racing interrupted by serious crashes it's probably the least deserving of two dates.  

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
7/25/22 10:25 p.m.
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to GCrites80s :

Pocono will likely keep their second date for a long time, I believe they've had a connection with the France family since they opened iirc.  I haven't been there in 20 years but I remember every time we forget whst an awful track it was and went back we regretted it. Between having the stands on the wrong side so the trioval is as far away as possibly, the almost daily storms, and fairly dull racing interrupted by serious crashes it's probably the least deserving of two dates.  

And  how they were able to get away with years with its poor Safety  and pavement for years 

CrashDummy
CrashDummy Reader
7/26/22 7:03 a.m.

You guys are confused. Pocono is already down to one Cup race per year. Their race was this past weekend and apparently they had a huge crowd on hand. I don't see Pocono going away completely. There are already 6 road courses on the schedule and I don't think there's an appetite for more than that at the moment, so if you're going to run Chicago, they had to get rid of one of the existing road races (COTA, The Glen, Sears Point, Indy, Roval, RA). 

jmabarone
jmabarone Reader
7/26/22 7:35 a.m.

NASCAR's schedule is intriguing to me.  36 races, plus some exhibitions, no more, no less.  Then you factor in what the fans want (more short tracks!) with what tracks NASCAR owns, SMI owns, and what shows well.  Now factor in your markets (Texas losing a points race to COTA but they get the Allstar race) and you end up with somebody that isn't happy.  

I like Pocono (I know it isn't the topic of this thread) but 2 races unnecessary.  I like Road America but it didn't necessarily lend itself to a good Cup race under the current format (stage breaks, which the series did to itself).  If you add Chicago, you have to drop a road course and RA is the easiest and most likely candidate.  I like Indy but the Cup cars don't really race there all that well...but it's Indy, there is no way that NASCAR is going to give up a date there over Road America. 

From what I understand, this year's RA weekend had one of the lowest TV viewerships of the whole season.  Sure, 120k people came to watch the race...but TV dollars drive the sport, unfortunately.  I experienced the same thing at Bristol last year for the night race.  Stands were half full for the NIGHT RACE!!!! and a playoff race, but it doesn't matter...TV ratings were great!  

There's also a change in leadership within NASCAR in the last 5 years that has been very positive.  They have loyalty to those that have helped build the sport (teams, sponsors, tracks) but the series is willing to compromise for the good of the sport.  

Now contrast that with F1...oh, we need 18 weekends..no 20, no 23!  USA is a huge market (which is true), let's get them 3 races!  We may need to drop Spa because the money from the track isn't that great...oh well.  

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