NASCAR Unveils Proposed Track Layout for Chicago Street Race in 2023 Season

Doric SamJuly 19, 2022

LOUDON, NH - JULY 17: Cars enter turn one during the NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter 301 on July 17, 2022, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. New Hampshire. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chicago is set to host NASCAR for the first-ever Cup Series street course races beginning in July 2023, and on Tuesday the proposed layout was unveiled.

Adam Stern @A_S12

Here is the proposed <a href="https://twitter.com/NASCARChicago?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NASCARChicago</a> street circuit.<br><br>🔲 <a href="https://twitter.com/IMSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IMSA</a> will hold a race the day before the NASCAR Cup Series event. <a href="https://t.co/N5lU6hGFOe">pic.twitter.com/N5lU6hGFOe</a>

According to Michelle R. Martinelli of USA Today, the course is 2.2 miles long and features 12 turns, most of which are right angles.

The Chicago street circuit is the latest proposed innovation to the Cup Series schedule following the introduction of the dirt-track race at Bristol Motor Speedway and the first-ever Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Coliseum earlier this year.

"NASCAR’s top division will run on city streets for the first time in proximity to many Windy City landmarks, including Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain and the edge of Soldier Field," a press release stated. "Iconic street names—Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive—will be a part of the 2.2-mile layout."

The Athletic's Jordan Bianchi reported earlier this month that NASCAR's deal with the city of Chicago will run through 2025. The Chicagoland Speedway, which is about an hour outside of Chicago in Joliet, Illinois, hosted the Cup Series from 2001 to '19. The only other race in Downtown Chicago took place in 1956 at Soldier Field.

NASCAR has a limited history of street-course racing. The former NASCAR Southwest Tour held competitions on a temporary course near Los Angeles Coliseum from 1998 to 2000, and the former NASCAR Winston West circuit held four street races from 1986 to '88 in the Washington cities of Spokane and Tacoma.

While it remains to be seen how drivers will embrace the street course, the countdown has officially begun for next year's return to Chicago.