NASCAR Chicago Street Race

Could F1 join NASCAR on the streets of Chicago? Here's what we know

Here’s everything to know about the rumors and the connections between NASCAR and F1 before the Chicago Street Race.

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At this time last year, many wondered if a street race in Chicago was viable.

Now, after a successful first NASCAR race last July, there have been rumors that another series might come to the Windy City.

It all started in January, when Formula One filed for trademarks of “Formula 1 Chicago Grand Prix,” “Grand Prix of Chicago,” “Chicago Grand Prix” and “Formula 1 Grand Prix of Chicago.” That, of course, sparked speculation that the open-wheel series could soon add Chicago to its calendar.

Here’s everything to know about the rumors and the connections between NASCAR and F1:

What is the difference between NASCAR and F1?

Where do we begin? This is a loaded question.

Both racing leagues have the same objective – drive fast and beat your competitors. But everything else about them couldn’t be more different.

NASCAR is an American sanctioning body, F1 is an international racing series. NASCAR uses stock cars, F1 uses open-wheel cars. NASCAR races primarily on ovals across the United States, F1 races only on road and street courses across the globe.

There are plenty of other intricacies that make each series unique, but those are the basics.

Is F1 going to race in Chicago?

Despite the aforementioned trademarks, an F1 race in Chicago appears unlikely.

ESPN’s Nate Saunders said in May that reports of the race being confirmed "are wide of the mark" and there are "no plans within F1 to expand to four U.S. races at the moment."

"I'm told that F1 typically requires a 10-year minimum deal," said Brian Hopkins, alderman for the second ward, in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times. “And that appears to be non-negotiable. The conversation [with the city] did not get much past that."

Chicago would not be added to the calendar at the earliest until 2026, because the 2025 schedule has already been released. The U.S. currently hosts three of the 24 races on the schedule (Austin, Miami, Las Vegas), and it’s unclear if F1 would want to add a fourth. Italy is the only other country that hosts multiple races (Monza, Imola).

How long will NASCAR race in Chicago?

NASCAR and the city of Chicago have a three-year agreement to hold the street race in 2023, 2024 and 2025. Here's what the city said last July regarding the event:

“Chicago is incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve as host of the 2023, 2024 and 2025 NASCAR Chicago Street Course events, and we stand ready to welcome NASCAR fans to our world class city.”

There was some speculation last year that the deal could be terminated or altered with Brandon Johnson taking over as mayor in May 2023, but nothing has changed to this point. Johnson’s office had discussions with NASCAR before agreeing to remain on the schedule for 2024.

“As a result of these conversations, NASCAR has agreed to shorten the event’s set up and tear down windows, reducing travel disruption for impacted communities and other residents," Johnson’s team said in a statement. "NASCAR has also committed to addressing costs incurred by City departments and agencies in facilitating and securing the event as consistent with other large-scale events. This is a win for Chicago taxpayers, as the original agreement did not include provisions for such costs.”

Could NASCAR and F1 both race in Chicago?

It would be virtually impossible for both NASCAR and F1 to race in Chicago, especially simultaneously.

If the city agreed to a deal with F1 for 2026 and beyond, NASCAR would likely move in another direction once its contract expires. It is also unclear if F1 would use a similar track layout as NASCAR or if it would move to a different part of the city for its race.

How many street races does NASCAR have?

Chicago is the first and only street race on the NASCAR schedule.

The Cup Series does race at other road courses where they turn left and right (Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Austin, Charlotte), but they are permanent, purpose-built venues.

How many street races does F1 have?

The 2024 F1 calendar has eight street circuits:

  • Australia (Melbourne, debuted in 1996)
  • Azerbaijan (Baku, debuted in 2016)
  • Canada (Montreal, debuted in 1978)
  • U.S. (Las Vegas, debuted in 2023)
  • U.S. (Miami Gardens, debuted in 2022)
  • Monaco (Monaco, debuted in 1950)
  • Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, debuted in 2021)
  • Singapore (Marina Bay, debuted in 2008)

When is the NASCAR Chicago Street Race in 2024?

The Grant Park 165 is scheduled for Sunday, July 7, at 3:30 p.m. CT on NBC and Peacock.

On Saturday, July 6, at 2:30 p.m. CT on NBC, NASCAR’s second-tier Xfinity Series will hold The Loop 110. Some of NASCAR’s rising stars will compete in this event as they hope to eventually reach the Cup Series.

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