Chicago To Host First NASCAR Cup Series Street Course Event In 2023

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

NASCAR Cup Series Points Race on NBC During Fourth of July Weekend

IMSA to Join Cup Series for NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend of Competition and Entertainment in Downtown Chicago on July 1-2, 2023

For the first time ever, the sights, sounds and speed of NASCAR are coming to the streets of downtown Chicago on July 1-2, 2023. One of the most iconic cities in the world, Chicago will add another chapter to its illustrious sports history when a NASCAR Cup Series street race debuts against the backdrop of Lake Michigan and Grant Park, televised on NBC.

“Like the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, we seized an incredible opportunity to add an unprecedented element to our schedule and take center stage in the heart of another major metropolitan market,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing development and strategy. “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. We are very appreciative of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her team, along with the entire City of Chicago for working with us to make this concept a reality.”

The first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street course race will take place on Sunday, July 2, 2023, and will be preceded by an IMSA sanctioned series race, which will run on Saturday, July 1, 2023. The specific IMSA series joining the NASCAR Cup Series in Chicago will be announced at a later date. Both races will be surrounded by music and entertainment options for all ages, truly making it one of the signature sporting and entertainment events of the year.

“Chicago’s streets are as iconic as our skyline and our reputation as a world class sports city is indisputable,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “I am thrilled to welcome our partners at NASCAR to Chicago for an event that will attract thousands of people to our city. Chicago’s world class entertainment and hospitality industries, coupled with our city’s history as a conduit for sports talent, make us the perfect hosts for this unique event.”

Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive and select surrounding thoroughfares will be transformed into a 12-turn, 2.2-mile street course, with the start/finish line and pit road located along South Columbus Drive directly in front of Buckingham Fountain. The course will pass through the famed Grant Park, as well as approach the northern edge of Soldier Field, one of the most notable and recognizable sports venues in the country – and the site of the only other Cup Series race to take place in Downtown Chicago, in 1956. 

“Welcoming yet another NASCAR event to Illinois just weeks after the inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300 Cup Series race is a testament to the strength of our tourism industry from Chicago to Metro East,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois, with its longstanding tradition of innovation, is a fitting host for NASCAR’s first-ever street race, and we are thrilled to welcome this new series to America’s most iconic drive next summer.”

“Chicago is one of the world’s top sports and entertainment destinations. Year after year, fans from all over the world travel to our great city for high-profile sporting events,” said Kara Bachman, Executive Director, Chicago Sports Commission. “The 2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race weekend will continue that legacy with another monumental sports moment and we look forward to welcoming fans to NASCAR’s first-ever street race.”

Tickets for the 2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend will go on-sale later this year at Additional details and elements of the weekend will be announced soon, and fans can follow @NASCARChicago on social media for the latest real-time updates on all aspects of the event.

The remainder of the 2023 schedules for the Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IMSA will be announced at a later date.


  1. A street race, ultra cool. I don’t think this would have been possible with the previous car. This next gen car with the 4 wheel independent suspension opens the door to races like this. So what’s next? Maybe a 12 hour endurance race? That would be cool. Or maybe travel to other countries, now that they have a more diverse car. How about cup cars at Circuited de Sarthe (LeMans).

  2. Boy have I got news for you rob, Hendrick is fielding a garage 56 entry at the 24 hours of lemans in 2023. I’m sure it will be beefed up significantly and will debut the hybrid ideas they plan on having in a few years. But it should be interesting to follow.

    As for the Street course. Awesome. Would have axed Indy over road America, though.

  3. I think this will be a great success – I can vision the cup cars visiting a different city every year or so for a street race. Just hope they stay in the USA…

  4. Zig13, I have read about the Hendricks effort for LeMans, I talking about holding a cup race at Sarthe.

  5. Capt. Mike Qbvious says


    The press release doesn’t say anything about axing Road America. It doesn’t even mention Road America at all. I think we can safely assume NASCAR won’t be racing there on Independence Day weekend next year, but that doesn’t automatically mean Road America is off the schedule altogether. Maybe they’re planning to go at another point in the season. We’ll find out soon enough.

  6. Bobf commentary on this event please.

  7. What I find hilarious is that one of the full time NASCAR media members wrote an article along the lines of “NASCAR Returning to Chicago” for the first time since 1950’s” while totally ignoring that until recently they ran at Chicagoland Speedway for nearly 2 decades. People may say “But Chicagoland is not in Chicago” But Charlotte Motor Speedway is not in Charlotte and Atlanta Motor Speedway is not in Atlanta. Hell, Martinsville is not even in Martinsville.

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