NASCAR's first ever street race to be held on new track in Chicago


The NASCAR Cup series has announced it will hold its inaugural street race next year, and that it will be held on the streets of Chicago


NASCAR has announced a 12-turn street race through Chicago


NASCAR has announced it will run at its first ever street track, on a new course through Chicago.

Following months of speculation, the US’s premier stock car series confirmed a 12-turn, 2.2-mile circuit through Grant Park and along Lake Michigan.

The track is identical to a prototype one showcased by iRacing last year. Over the past two years NASCAR diversified its schedule in an attempt to garner more fans and publicity.

In addition to running at more road courses like the Circuit of the Americas and turning the traditionally-paved Bristol oval into a dirt track, at the start of 2022 NASCAR moved its season-opening ‘Clash’ race to the LA Coliseum, which was broadly deemed a success.

The series has had a stop-start relationship with the state of Michigan recently – after not holding an event there since Chicagoland oval in 2019, this year saw the inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300 at Gateway which will be joined by the new street race next year.

Last year’s Talladega winner Bubba Wallace drove his Toyota NASCAR through the streets of Chicago as publicity for the announcement, indicating a historical touchstone for the race and series, which has held competition in the city before – 66 years ago.

Wallace drove past American football stadium Soldier Field, which was used to hold regular stock car races throughout the 1950s and most of the ’60s, with the premier Cup series making one visit in ’56.

Similar to this year’s Coliseum race, a small paved oval was laid down. The Soldier Field track even had banking at one point.

After the final race there in 1968, NASCAR is once more coming back within Chicago city limits.

“Like the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, we seized an incredible opportunity to add an unprecedented element to our schedule and take centre stage in the heart of another major metropolitan market,” said NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing development Ben Kennedy.

“This is the ideal setting for the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street race. 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.”

CHICAGO, IL — May 1952: Fans fill the seats for a day of stock car racing at Soldier Field. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

One of stock car racing’s previous visits to Soldier Field stadium in 1952

ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images