NASCAR Chicago Street Race Jul 2, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; A general view as cars race along Grant Park during the Grant Park 220 of the Chicago Street Race viewed from the NEMA Chicago buliding. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

One NASCAR race is apparently enough for many Chicago residents.

More than half of downtown residents oppose the return of the NASCAR Street Race, according to a poll.

NASCAR held the inaugural Grant Park 220 on July 2. Road-racing specialist Shane van Gisbergen won the event in his NASCAR Cup Series debut, the first driver to pull that feat since 1963.

Rain and lightning plagued the race. And while many NASCAR fans in the Chicago area were thrilled to host a race, other residents complained of noise, snarled traffic, road closures and more.

Chicago alderman Brendan Reilly conducted an on-line poll that found 54.5% of residents do not want the street race to return. Reilly conceded the poll was “not scientific and may have attracted a disproportionately negative sample,” according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

It’s too late for anything to be done about the next two years, because NASCAR and the city of Chicago have a three-year agreement on the event.

The city announced in a statement in 2022 that, “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.”

While the sanctioning body hasn’t released its official schedule for 2024, there is already a Chicago Street Race web page, offering fans the chance to make a deposit for tickets, pit-road access and other activities.

[Adam Stern, Sports Business Journal]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.