NASCAR Chicago race will be everything from “insane” to “brilliant”

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The upcoming NASCAR race in Chicago is expected to be a thrilling and captivating event. The race will take place on a 2.2-mile street course with 12 turns, guiding the Cup and Xfinity series cars through various iconic locations in the city. The start/finish line and pit road will be situated near the renowned Buckingham Fountain on South Columbus Drive.

The course will traverse Grant Park and approach the northern boundary of Soldier Field, the home stadium of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Additionally, the track will run alongside the scenic Lake Michigan on South Lake Shore Drive.

While there are critics who question the idea of stock cars racing on city streets, F1 has gathered unique perspectives on what participants and fans can anticipate during the weekend. The opinions range from skeptical to enthusiastic, reflecting the diverse views within the racing community.

One of the most experienced drivers in the field, Kevin Harvick, advocates for transforming NASCAR races into larger-scale “events.” He cites the Busch Clash held at the L.A. Coliseum as a prime example of a successful venture that defied initial skepticism. Harvick believes that Chicago, being a significant market with a massive audience, will host a remarkable event. He looks forward to the challenge of the course and aims to ensure an exciting spectacle for the fans.

Carl Edwards, a former Cup star who recently returned to the racing scene, expresses his excitement for the Chicago Street Race. Edwards describes the course as insane yet brilliant, applauding NASCAR’s willingness to explore new venues. Despite some locals’ lack of enthusiasm, Edwards believes people will love the race, considering the intense nature of the competition and the track’s unique characteristics. He acknowledges that racing stock cars on a street course presents a distinct challenge, making it an enticing prospect for both drivers and spectators.

Justin Marks, a co-owner of Trackhouse Racing and a former driver himself, echoes the sentiment of bringing racing directly to the people through street racing. Marks hails the concept as the purest form of the sport, reminiscent of the early days of automobile racing. He appreciates the opportunity to showcase high-performance cars on the streets, attracting not only dedicated race fans but also curious onlookers who want to experience the excitement firsthand.

The Chicago street race holds great significance for NASCAR, as its success may shape the future of racing in the city and influence the organization’s approach to street circuits. Dale Earnhardt Jr., a renowned former driver and current member of NBC Sports’ broadcast team, acknowledges the importance of this event. He views it as a pivotal moment that will determine NASCAR’s standing in Chicago and its potential for street racing as a whole. Earnhardt Jr. expects the track to present formidable challenges for the drivers, eliciting a range of reactions from thrill to frustration.

Ultimately, the NASCAR race in Chicago represents an exciting venture into uncharted territory. The event is poised to captivate fans and participants alike, showcasing the thrill of stock car racing on the city streets. With diverse opinions and high expectations, this race has the potential to leave a lasting impact on the future of NASCAR and its approach to urban circuits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Chicago street race

What is the length and layout of the NASCAR Chicago street course?

The NASCAR Chicago street course is 2.2 miles long with 12 turns. The start/finish line and pit road are located on South Columbus Drive near Buckingham Fountain. The track runs through Grant Park, approaches the northern edge of Soldier Field, and runs along South Lake Shore Drive.

How do people in the racing community perceive the Chicago street race?

Opinions within the racing community vary. Some, like Kevin Harvick, see it as an opportunity to transform Cup races into larger “events” and believe Chicago is an ideal setting for a thrilling race. Carl Edwards finds it insane yet brilliant and anticipates an exciting spectacle. Justin Marks appreciates the concept of street racing, considering it the purest form of the sport.

What is the significance of the Chicago street race for NASCAR?

The Chicago street race holds great importance for NASCAR. Its success may determine the future of racing in the city and influence NASCAR’s approach to street circuits. It is viewed as a pivotal moment that will shape NASCAR’s standing in Chicago and its potential for future street races.

What challenges and excitement can be expected from the Chicago street race?

Drivers will face the challenge of maneuvering stock cars on a street course, which presents unique obstacles, tight quarters, and bumps. The race is expected to be thrilling, captivating both dedicated race fans and curious onlookers who want to witness the spectacle firsthand. The track layout and iconic locations add to the excitement and uncertainty of the event.

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