Chicago Mayor Drops Update on Potential NASCAR Street Race

Cup Series Practice

Getty NASCAR continues to examine the possibility of a street race.

Numerous reports have surfaced about a possible NASCAR street race in Chicago, and now a new report indicates that it could actually happen. The Athletic has obtained a letter from the city of Chicago endorsing the race.

Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic provided the report ahead of the trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway. He noted that the outlet obtained the letter through a public records request and that it was addressed to Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing development and strategy. The letter expressed interest in a three-year stretch of races.

“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 states, courtesy of The Athletic. “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.”

ALL the latest NASCAR news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on NASCAR newsletter here!

Sign up for the Heavy on NASCAR Newsletter!

NASCAR has not taken on a street race in its modern era, which dates back to the 1972 season. This would shake up the format in a major way, and it would bring stock car racing back to the Chicago market for the first time since the 2019 season when Alex Bowman won at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.

Work Remains To Be Done

Cup Series

GettyNASCAR Cup Series drivers race at Road America.

As Bianchi noted in his report, the pen has not yet been put to paper. The contract between NASCAR and the city of Chicago remains unsigned. Though sources confirmed to The Athletic that there is an announcement tentatively set for July 19.

NASCAR has the goal of releasing the 2023 Cup Series schedule before the end of the summer. It’s unlikely that the full list of events will be available by July 19, but the announcement could provide another major update before the full reveal.

NASCAR has already provided dates for some key events in 2023. The first was championship weekend, which will take place at Phoenix Raceway on November 3-5, 2023. The sanctioning body also confirmed that the Daytona 500 will kick off the season on February 19, 2023.

Finally, NASCAR announced that the Cup Series will return to the LA Memorial Coliseum for the Busch Light Clash on February 5, 2023. Kennedy spearheaded the inaugural trip to Southern California for the exhibition race, which was part of an initiative to shake up the schedule.

Major Changes Have Shaken Up the NASCAR Schedules


GettyConversations continue about a possible race in Chicago.

Kennedy and the NASCAR executives have spent the past few years making some changes to the schedule. These updates include bringing stock car racing back to Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since the 2011 season.

The other updates include putting dirt on Bristol Motor Speedway, taking on Road America in Wisconsin, heading to Circuit of the Americas in Texas, and bringing the Cup Series to World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis.

The expectation is that NASCAR will return to COTA, WWTR, and Bristol dirt in the 2023 season. Road America remains a question due to the lack of a contract for the track, and there is a possibility that a street race in Chicago will replace it. Though NASCAR will not provide the answer until July 19 or later.

READ NEXT: Joe Gibbs Racing President Updates Kyle Busch Contract Status

Read More