NASCAR fans in Chicago might soon be welcoming drivers back to the Windy City. A report from The Athletic indicates that the city has given its stamp of approval for a street course race, beginning in 2023.
The Athletic obtained a letter from the City of Chicago through a public records request. Chicago endorses NASCAR to host a street course event in 2023 and running for a three-year stretch.
“Chicago is incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve as host of the 2023, 2024 and 2025 NASCAR Chicago Street Course events, and we stand ready to welcome NASCAR fans to our world class city,” the letter reads. “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.”
NASCAR is making a push to include more events in major cities across the country. Adding a street course race in one of the nation’s largest cities certainly accomplishes that feat.
No contract is officially in place between the two parties. However, The Athletic’s report indicates an announcement is expected to come July 19.
NASCAR’s History in Chicago
Assuming the deal comes to fruition, this won’t be an “arrival” in Chicago for NASCAR. Instead, it will be a return.
From 2001-19, the Chicagoland Speedway served as part of the Cup Series circuit. The 1.5-mile track hosted 19 Cup Series races, as well as 19 Xfinity Series events. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the event in 2020. NASCAR then dropped the Chicagoland Speedway from its schedule beginning in 2021.
Tony Stewart dominated the oval track at Chicagoland, winning three times in two decades. It’s the most among Cup Series drivers at the track. Kevin Harvick flexed his muscle at the speedway, posting 10 top-five finishes.