The sound of race cars at the Chicagoland Speedway will, once again, be silent this season. But next season? It’s possible that professional motorsports returns to the oval. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk joined the Afternoon Rush to speak of the future of Chicagoland.
Officials with the City of Joliet and NASCAR met a month and a half ago to discuss the future of the property. NASCAR is looking to lessen its footprint with several tracks, Chicagoland included, and presented several possibilities in order to do so. O’Dekirk said the only way the city would get serious is if there is commitment to racing at the facility on the city’s south side.
While the track remains dormant of any sports activity, there are still plenty of positions being filled to keep the track in shape, for when the sanctioning body decides to either return to the facility as is, or decide to redesign the 1.5 mile oval
This comes on the heels of NASCAR officials meeting with the City of Chicago to design a street course, currently used on popular racing simulator program iRacing, for possible use for a potential street race through Grant Park, utilizing DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue. While the street course is still not off the table, it’s possible that NASCAR could decide to run the street course and still have a Cup Series date at Chicagoland.
In the meeting with NASCAR, officials said that the Joliet facility still is in the long term plans for racing. Currently, the facility is home for hundreds of vehicles waiting their semiconductor chips.