Chicago NASCAR race map, street closures, parking restrictions, and more info

ByABC7 Chicago Team Coverage WLS logo
Sunday, July 2, 2023
Commuters navigate downtown road closures for NASCAR Street Race
Unprecedented road closures in Chicago for the NASCAR Street Race.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The NASCAR street race coming to Chicago on July 1st and 2nd is the first of its kind for the motorsport.

The Cup Series Race, named the "Grant Park 220," and the Xfinity Series Race, called "The Loop 121," will pass through many of Chicago's most renowned downtown landmarks, July 1 through 2.

ABC7 got a sneak peek of the NASCAR street race course in downtown Chicago, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. as our guide.

The "Grant Park 220" will be a 220-mile race with 100 laps.

"The Loop 121" will be 121 miles with 55 laps.

The course will take drivers onto major city roads like Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, taking them along Lake Michigan and around the city's iconic Grant Park.

The start and finish line, and pit road, will be located along South Columbus Drive, directly in front of Buckingham Fountain. By the eve of the event, much of the area around Grant Park will be inaccessible to vehicles.

WATCH: Fly over the Chicago NASCAR course

Fly over the NASCAR Chicago course.

There will also be full-length concerts by The Chainsmokers and Miranda Lambert.

Race officials are expecting 50,000 attendees each day, paying up to $3,000 for some tickets, which will bring the city an economic boost.

"If they're willing to pay that for a ticket price, they're also willing to pay more for a hotel room and they're also willing to dine in some of our nicest restaurants. So it continues to bring money," said Lisa Young, director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at DePaul University.

After the race, streets will begin reopening as early as Monday morning.

Street closures, parking restrictions for downtown NASCAR races

Roz Varon shares ways to avoid the street closures downtown from the NASCAR Street Race.

As Chicago hosts the first-ever Cup Series Street Race in NASCAR's 75-year history, people will have to be mindful of the traffic impacts.

Pre-race activity began Friday, June 2, with parking restrictions along Columbus Drive between Jackson and Balbo drives. On Saturday, June 10, Ida B. Wells Drive closed east of Michigan Avenue, starting at 12:01 a.m. to allow for construction of the main viewing areas. Temporary road closures from Saturday, June 17 to Sunday, June 25, will allow for track wall installation, with the exception of Balbo Drive, which will close at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 19, from Michigan Avenue to DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

The most significant closures will start on Sunday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m. with the closure of Columbus Drive between Jackson Drive and Roosevelt Road.

On Wednesday, June 28, at 10 p.m., southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive from Randolph Street to McFetridge Drive will close. On Thursday, June 29, starting at 8 p.m., Roosevelt Road east of Columbus Drive and northbound Michigan Avenue will close.

Closures of the streets in red above go into effect on June 28, 2023.

On Friday, June 30, at 5 p.m. southbound Michigan Avenue between Balbo and Jackson drives will close.

The sounds of heavy equipment loading fencing into Grant Park echoed down Michigan Avenue Monday morning.

During race weekend, northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will close on Saturday, July 1, at 4 a.m. between McFetridge Drive and Randolph Street as an added safety precaution. Northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will begin reopening Sunday, July 2.

Streets will begin reopening as early as 7 a.m. on Monday, July 3, following the conclusion of the event. All street closures are expected to remain in effect as demobilization of the track wall, fence, and viewing structures takes place. The priority streets to reopen are DuSable Lake Shore Drive Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. Other street closures will remain in effect as demobilization of the track wall, fence, and viewing structures takes place. Activity is expected to conclude by Saturday, July 15.

Here's how Chicago roads will reopen after the Chicago NASCAR race.

The Chicago Park District will prioritize public access during the NASCAR Chicago Street Race, keeping more than half of the park open during the event, including set-up and tear down, officials said in a news release Monday.

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Access to popular park features like Buckingham Fountain, Butler Field, and Lower Hutchinson Field will remain accessible to the public with minimal restrictions that equate to less than one-fifth of event operation days, officials said.

In addition, free festival activities associated with the Chicago Street Race will be held on Butler Field, inviting the public to learn more about NASCAR without the price of admission.

Maggie Daley Park, Cancer Survivor's Garden, and the Museum Campus will remain open and accessible throughout the event and welcome visitors during regular operating hours.

Updates to this plan may be made prior to the start of the event, officials said.

Full list of closures:

- Sunday, June 25 - Beginning at 12:01 a.m.: Closure of Jackson between Michigan and Columbus and closure of Columbus between Jackson and Roosevelt

- Monday, June 26 - Beginning at 6 a.m.: Closure of Congress Plaza Drive and lane closures on eastbound Roosevelt Road between Columbus and DuSable Lake Shore Drive

- Tuesday, June 27 - Beginning at 6 a.m.: Curb lane closure on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive between Balbo Drive and Roosevelt for track barrier installation.

- Wednesday, June 28 - Beginning at 10 p.m.: Curb lane closure on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive between Balbo and Roosevelt for track barrier installation.

- Thursday, June 29 - Beginning at 8 p.m.: Closure of northbound Michigan between Balbo and Jackson and traffic lane closure of southbound Michigan between Balbo and Jackson

- Thursday, June 29 - Beginning at 10 p.m.: Closure of southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive between Monroe Drive and McFetridge and closure of Roosevelt between Columbus and DuSable Lake Shore Drive

- Friday, June 30 - Beginning at 5 p.m.: Closure of southbound Michigan between Balbo and Jackson

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