CHICAGO (WLS) — NASCAR departs Saturday in Chicago for its first road in the organization's 75-year history.
The race car is expected to reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour on multiple straights, racing past the iconic Chicago Skyline.
Racers depart for a few practice laps Saturday morning, followed by qualifying and then the actual race.
The race will take place around Grant Park on Saturday and Sunday.
The NASCAR XFinity Series will race at The Loop 121 on Saturday at 4:00 PM CT and then the NASCAR Cup Series will take over downtown at Grant Park 220 on Sunday at 4:30 PM
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The course will begin and end at Buckingham Fountain, and will pass through major city arteries such as DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive and select surrounding streets to form a 12 loop, 2.2 mile course.
Racers say the margin of error on this course is even smaller than on the topical oval track they race.
“Even a minor error, five feet of braking then can be the difference between cornering and hitting a wall,” said Brad Perez, driver.
Previously the racers could only view the track in the simulator but Friday morning they walked the track, taking a close look at the road conditions and 12 turns.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe said the course is a course for every driver and “no one is going to benefit.” “We were all on the playing field tonight,” said Briscoe.
Gates open at 9am on Saturday and Sunday and that's when NASCAR Village at Butler Field opens.
Apart from the races, there are also a number of pre- and post-race concerts on the Lakefront Green Mobil 1 concert stage
12-12:30 – The JC Brooks Band
14:20-15:20- Black Crow
19:30-21:00 The Chainsmokers
12-1pm – Charley Crockett
1:30-3 p.m. – Miranda Lambert