The city of Chicago will host the first street course race in NASCAR Cup Series history this coming season.
Drivers will take on a 12-turn, 2.2-mile course challenge on July 1 to 2 and televised live on NBC.
The Chicago downtown race is part of the premier stock racing organization’s plans to grow its fanbase and racing expertise.
“This is the ideal setting for the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street race,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing development and strategy. “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.”
The race is important as it marks the street race debut of next-gen cars and multiple Cup drivers.
Several Cup drivers had arranged to run the double city that weekend, participating in the Xfinity series, which will give them more time on the track.
Fox Sports journalist Bob Pokrass reported that NASCAR will not allow Cup drivers to run in the Xfinity Series race on the Chicago Street Course this year.
“Cup drivers won’t be allowed to race in the Xfinity Series race on the Chicago Street Course (some might have wanted the extra track time). But there will be no restriction as far as Cup drivers in a truck for North Wilkesboro,”. – Pokrass tweeted.
Cup drivers won't be allowed to race in the Xfinity Series race on the Chicago Street Course (some might have wanted for the extra track time). But there will be no restriction as far as Cup drivers in a truck for North Wilkesboro.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) January 18, 2023
Pockrass further added that NASCAR doesn’t want Cup teams either fielding more cars or getting into a bidding battle to get Xfinity rides for Chicago.
NASCAR first hosted a race in Chicago at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears NFL team, back in 1956.