NASCAR Chicago

NASCAR Chicago updates: Streets surrounding Grant Park to start opening overnight

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Work to dismantle the NASCAR Street Race course began minutes after the race concluded Sunday night, as the city planned to reopen multiple nearby streets in the following hours.

In a news release late Sunday, the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications said select streets will begin opening overnight through Monday, but noted a phased reopening approach will take place. Northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will begin reopening Sunday, officials noted, while southbound Michigan Avenue won't welcome drivers until Monday.

Southbound DuSable LSD and Roosevelt Road, meanwhile, will begin reopening Tuesday morning.

Most streets are expected to reopen by July 5. However, some "inner perimeter street closures" will likely remain in effect until July 13 so crews can take down the track wall, fence and viewing structures.


While weather issues led NASCAR officials to declare Cole Custer the winner of the inaugural Loop 121 Race on Sunday, but the Cup series race, the most anticipated event of the weekend, got underway after much uncertainty.

The Cup Series race was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., but that was not meant to be, as another band of heavy rain inundated the course again, leaving officials to say the race was in a "holding pattern."

Drivers were told to return to their vehicles just after 5 p.m., with a goal of starting the race at 5:15 p.m. The race began around 5:30 p.m.

These developments come hours after officials opted to cancel the remainder of the Xfinity Series race, which had been postponed Saturday due to lightning.

According to a statement, the heavy rains and track flooding that developed in the area Sunday morning led to the difficult decision to axe the race.

"With standing water and flooding a significant issue at the race track and throughout the city, there was no option to return to racing prior to shifting to NASCAR Cup Series race operations," officials said in a statement. "Based on several unprecedented circumstances, NASCAR has made the decision to declare Cole Custer the winner of the race."

NASCAR officials say the Xfinity Series race could have continued Monday, but they opted not to do so after consultation with Chicago officials.

"Throughout the entire planning process for the Chicago Street Race, our relationship with the city of Chicago has been strong and among the most valuable assets in reaching this historic weekend," officials said. "In the spirit of that partnership, returning on Monday for the completion of a NASCAR Xfinity Series event two laps short of halfway was an option we chose not to employ."

Gates for the event did not open on time Sunday morning because “of the threat of severe weather," and after an estimated start time of 10:45 a.m. was set, rain intensified, causing the race to be delayed.

In addition, scheduled concerts by country star Miranda Lambert and blues artist Charley Crockett have been canceled due to flooding in Lower Hutchison Field, according to officials.

Stay tuned for the latest updates as they become available.

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