NASCAR Chicago

Will NASCAR Chicago race return in 2025? Here's what to know

Questions will surround whether to hold the race for a third year, or if it should be moved from the busy Fourth of July weekend

For the second year in a row, NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race was impacted by rain but brought plenty of excitement to Grant Park, and now all eyes are turning toward whether or not the event will be held for a third year.

The original agreement between the city and NASCAR was for a three-year relationship, but both sides do have opt-out clauses within that deal that can end it early.

According to NBC 5 Investigates, NASCAR and the Chicago Park District can mutually agree to terminate the contract within the 180-day window after the conclusion of the race, which was contested on Sunday in Grant Park.

NASCAR also has the ability to unilaterally withdraw from the contract up to 90 days prior to the race, but would owe the city a termination fee of $250,000, according to documents.

In all likelihood, NASCAR’s portion of the deal will be figured out well before those dates, as the series is expected to set its 2025 season schedule in coming days, according to USA Today. That schedule is also adding new wrinkles for the coming year, with speculation of an international race and a brand new in-season tournament being added into the mix.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who has voiced criticism of the race and the contract the city signed prior to his administration, attended Sunday’s event and addressed drivers prior to the race, but was mum on whether or not the city would seek to hold it again, or if they’d push to move it to a different weekend, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We will continue to assess how this particular weekend for NASCAR…best benefits the people of Chicago,” he said. “No decision has been made on which weekend in particular is best suited.”

Multiple issues have led to questions about whether the race should be moved or canceled entirely, including the impacts the weather has had. Both years the Chicago Street Race has been held, heavy rain has caused significant delays, with Sunday’s race being cut short by 17 laps and delayed by nearly two hours because of precipitation.

What’s more, the city is facing questions about the amount of police needed to staff the event, especially after a weekend that saw more than 100 victims of gun violence, including 19 that were killed by gunfire.

The contract itself also still faces heavy scrutiny from officials. Under terms of that deal, NASCAR agreed to pay the city $2 for every ticket sold, and a percentage of net revenues for food and beverage sales. An annual permit fee is also paid to the Chicago Park District, but in exchange the city gives up control of large swaths of Grant Park, and also has to close major streets like DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive and Michigan Avenue.

In response to criticisms last season, NASCAR and the city trimmed down the amount of set-up time for the race, and workers have made reopening major thoroughfares a priority in the aftermath of the race.

It is unknown when the final decision will be made on whether to hold the race next year, according to officials.

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