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Chicago Street Race Preview

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Meghana Sree

After a bye week and the race in Nashville, NASCAR heads to the streets of Chicago for the first ever street race in NASCAR’s 75-year history. As we get closer and closer to this historic event, let’s take a deep dive into this brand new track and make predictions on who could win the first ever NASCAR street race.

Credits - Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Digital Media

Track Preview

The course has a total of 12 corners, with a run down the straight to turn one, a 90-degree left turn, then a short run towards turn two, which is a 90-degree right turn. After turn two, there’s a long straight next to Lake Michigan with a long right turn into turn four, a medium speed corner, which immediately leads to turn five, then another right turn into a long straight. After hard braking into turn six and a short run into turn seven, the drivers go through a Sochi-esque curve from turns eight to ten, then a right turn down turn 11, and take a final twelfth turn back to the main straight.

To give a brief description of the track, it's a very square track full of 90-degree turns, with the exception of turns eight to ten. The most promising overtaking zones include turns one, five, and six, but other corners have potential as overtaking zones as well.

The other thing that makes this race more exciting is the idea of racing on a circuit where you’re boxed in by the walls, and you can’t really cut corners anymore. A lot of road courses have been riddled with cars taking short cuts and as NASCAR doesn’t have track limits, the drivers’ skills will be tested and it will be a fun race to watch.

Off the track, tyre strategy will also be a key part of the race. In the 2023 season, road courses no longer have stage breaks, and crew chiefs are tasked with coming up with the most advantageous strategy. The predicted strategy would be a four stop, every 50-60 laps, barring yellow flags.

Weather forecast predicts a rainy day on race day, depending on precipitation. There is a chance NASCAR runs on rain tyres, making the race more unpredictable. The race will commence on 2nd July, 17:30 EST (16:30 CST, 23:30 CET).

Race predictions

As a brand new race, there isn’t much data that can be relied on to predict who will win this race. However, one man stands as a favourite in this race. Martin Truex Jr. took four top-five finishes in a row, while getting two wins in the past seven races. He has been on a roll so far this season, and he might keep his hot streak going in Windy City.

If anyone will surprise the entire NASCAR community this weekend, it would be AJ Allmendinger. The veteran driver has enjoyed improved results in the past four races, and he will be aiming for the top spot to lock in a playoff spot, in his first full cup season since 2018. The #16 team will look to bring the most out of the car, and this might be it for Kaulig Racing.


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