NASCAR will bring the Windy City 200 virtual race to Chicago streets this summer, providing a potential "sneak peek" into how a live street race would look in the future, city officials announced.
On June 2, the Windy City 200 takes NASCAR drivers through Chicago's skyscrapers along the city's skyline and through iconic roadways from a digital platform that resembles an in-person race, according to officials.
"There's a lot of energy and excitement around this unique event and what it can mean for the future of our sport. It'll bring in new and younger fans in the virtual world, and also it will provide a sneak peek into what the real live street horse race could look like in the future," said Lesa Kennedy, executive vice chair of NASCAR.
Chicago has never hosted a street course, according to Kennedy, but said there's a "strong appetite" for motorsports in the city.
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Kennedy said officials spent hours scanning Chicago streets to develop a virtual course for those who are not familiar with the idea of iRacing, a partner of NASCAR.
"They're the world's premier racing simulation developer, and their technology is so realistic that our NASCAR drivers actually use this simulation to practice for their upcoming events," Kennedy said of iRacing.
Next week, drivers will experience the street course for the first time as practice for the major event, and said would speak on their experiences afterwards.