City Cast

NASCAR Lover and Hater Guides for Chicago Race Weekend

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on June 26   |   Updated on July 28
NASCAR race car on Lower Wacker

Promotion of the NASCAR Chicago race announcement in 2022. (Patrick McDermott / Getty)

Stoked for this weekend’s NASCAR race? Dreading it? We have tips for how to enjoy the street race this weekend — and how to avoid it.

What everyone needs to know

The race takes place in Grant Park Saturday and Sunday, affecting downtown bus routes and bringing more Metra trains in and out of the city. Main road closures start today. Roads will fully reopen after the course is deconstructed by July 15.

Bubba Wallace drives on Columbus Drive for promotion of NASCAR race.

Bubba Wallace drives on Columbus Drive in promotion of the NASCAR Chicago Street Race announcement. (Quinn Harris / Getty)

For the NASCAR lovers

If you’re excited about the event, you’re not alone: Officials estimate 50,000 people are set to attend each day.

🏎️ Races on the 2.2-mile track are the 50-lap Xfinity Race Saturday at 4 p.m. and the 100-lap Cup series Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Dozens of drivers, including Bubba Wallace and Jimmie Johnson, will compete.

🎟️ Tickets start at $269 for a two-day general admission pass and go up to $3K for the VIP NASCAR experience.

🎶 Big acts

are set to play. The Black Crowes and The Chainsmokers are on Saturday, and Charley Crockett and Miranda Lambert are on Sunday.

🌭 Food will be plentily available. The city’s largest restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You, will serve Bub City brisket and RPM Italian pasta. Lou Malnati’s, Garrett Popcorn, and Vienna Beef will offer Chicago classics.

🌦️ Weather could shake up the weekend. Races can go on in rain, but not standing water or lightning, NASCAR officials said. Worst case scenario? A race will be moved to Monday.

🏁 Celebrate early with a themed McDonald’s meal and a block party.

For the NASCAR haters

Planning to avoid downtown like the plague?

🎉 Check out fests in Washington Park and Arlington Heights.

🌈 Celebrate Pride in Bronzeville.

📍 Explore other neighborhoods. Hey Chicago and the City Cast Chicago podcast have a growing list of neighborhood guides.

✌️ Get out of town for the weekend. Midwest road trips are top tier.

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