NASCAR announced a partnership with Four Leaf Productions (FLP) for the NASCAR race weekend on the Chicago Street Course on July 1-2, 2023.
It’s more than a race. It’s an experience.
The inaugural Chicago Street Course event in July 2023 will host NASCAR’s first Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series race weekend on a street course, one that twists and turns through downtown Chicago. NASCAR’s top two series will run on city streets for the first time in proximity to many Windy City landmarks, including Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain and the edge of Soldier Field. Iconic street names — Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive — will be a part of the 2.2-mile layout.
As part of the partnership, NASCAR Four Leaf Productions have announced a partnership for the event. The two entities will work closely together with the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District and other entities in building and producing a successful sports and entertainment event weekend.
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“We look forward to partnering with Charlie Jones and the Four Leaf Productions team to make the Chicago Street Race Weekend one of the most fan-friendly sports and entertainment events of 2023,” said Julie Giese, Chicago Street Race President. “As the first-ever NASCAR street race weekend, we‘re looking forward to reinventing the guest experience as a two-day festival with a first-class racing and entertainment experience right in the heart of downtown Chicago. FLP‘s creativity, coupled with their success and expertise producing major events in the city, is the perfect combination to help us deliver a positive and memorable race weekend.”
FLP will oversee all non-racing elements of the event weekend, including building out premium hospitality areas, creating interactive experiences for fans throughout the park and producing two live concerts on the music stage each evening. FLP has extensive experience working on large-scale entertainment events with city agencies and organizations to ensure safe events that respect the community and its residents.
“We are honored to work with NASCAR to bring this first-of-its-kind racing experience to downtown Chicago,” said Charlie Jones, Founder of Four Leaf Productions. “Our team has a long history of building live events and festivals of all sizes, many of those in the great city of Chicago. This is an exciting moment for the sport, and we‘re thrilled to be a part of it.”
NASCAR has an array of long-running connections to the Chicago area. A Cup Series event in 1956 joined the regular rotation of auto racing at Soldier Field, now home to the Chicago Bears. More recently, the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet hosted the Cup Series from 2001-2019.
NASCAR‘s experience with street-circuit racing is more limited. The former NASCAR Southwest Tour competed on a temporary layout near the LA Coliseum from 1998-2000, and the former NASCAR Winston West circuit ran four street races in the Pacific Northwest from 1986-88 — two each in the Washington cities of Spokane and Tacoma.
The versatility of the Next Gen car that debuted this year in the NASCAR Cup Series, plus the proof of concept that emerged from the Los Angeles Clash, have prompted the sanctioning body‘s schedule makers to take the show on the road — or in this case, the downtown streets.