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Chicago Street Race Faces More Local Backlash

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Matt Smith

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There has been much controversy surrounding NASCAR's first ever street course race, and now another bit has surfaced, this time from a widely read newspaper opposing NASCAR coming to town.

What’s Happening?

NASCAR announced plans last year to diversify its circuit by adding the first ever street event. This event is definitely a talked about topic, as it has received mixed views from fans, and especially residents, of the city in question.

While other motorsports series Formula 1 and the NTT INDY Car series have grown accustomed to having street races as a part of their schedule, this is new territory for NASCAR, and the city of Chicago.

A recent article by the Chicago Sun Times has expressed displeasure with the idea that NASCAR is coming to town, citing the closures of some culturally relevant locations as the reason for not wanting the series there. You can read the full article here.

You need to know;

  • Chicago will play host to NASCAR’s first ever street course race. The Chicago market used to be serviced by nearby Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.
  • However, being almost an hour away from the city, and the last race being held at the track in 2019 being won by Alex Bowman, his first Cup Series win, would prompt NASCAR to make a big splash to return to the market.
  • Certainly fans in the market have yearned for NASCAR to make their return to the northern Illinois market, especially after losing the Road America date for this very event. Attendance at Road America was massive for their Independence Day weekend, proving that residents of the area have an appetite for NASCAR racing.

In the Stands

This fan says come to SoCal and run Long Beach, they would welcome them with open arms

CaptainRon decided to poke fun at the ridiculous prices that were charged at the F1 Miami race.

Jeff wants it back at Road America, or maybe even Canada if we want to try new things.

The truther of Chastain hopes it works, as should all fans

Tom has a great idea… We miss you Chicagoland

Who could Andrew be talking about? Kentucky is pretty far from Chicago.

From the Pressbox

Adam Stern, reporter for Sports Business Journal, would tweet the article, sparking the debate on Twitter.

Final Thoughts

The backlash from residents of Chicago is certainly disheartening. As a NASCAR fan, we want new and creative ideas to not only work, but be received well by the populous. This event has caused more headache than any in recent memory, and it will be interesting to see if it stays more than one year.

With other tracks in the area available and ready to host Cup races, does NASCAR listen to that populous and return to Chicagoland or Road America? Or does NASCAR follow the direction of one of the fans mentioned previously and look for other cities to host a street race if they want to keep that type of race on the schedule?

Without seeing the racing product, it is hard to determine whether NASCAR will continue with this experiment. While they are pushing to attract a younger demographic to the sport, does upsetting the local residents really bode well in their pursuit. The only thing left to do is sit back and watch the chaos unfold, hoping for the best.

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Picture of Matt Smith

Matt Smith

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