NASCAR: Date set for major schedule announcement

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

NASCAR is reportedly in position to confirm a street race in Chicago, Illinois later this month, with the announcement tentatively set for July 19.

Discussions about the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series schedule have been heating up in recent weeks, as only three date confirmations have made about the entire calendar thus far and NASCAR has promised some “bold” changes for the rest of the season.

One such topic has been the idea of a street race in Chicago, Illinois, and the addition of this particular event has been seen as increasingly likely.

Now, according to The Athletic‘s Jordan Bianchi, a tentative announcement on the matter is reportedly set to take place on Tuesday, July 19, though a deal has not yet been finalized.

A street race is something that has been discussed as a potential addition to the Cup Series schedule for years, and that talk reached new heights last year when a virtual eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race was contested on a fictitious street circuit in “The Windy City”.

The key question that many are asking is which existing track this new street circuit would replace on the Cup Series schedule.

Many have pointed to Road America as a possibility, since that is one of six road course races already on the schedule. Road America rejoined the Cup Series schedule for the first time since 1956 last year, but it does not have a deal to return in 2023.

Geographically, Road America is just about a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Chicago, so swapping one venue for the other would make sense.

Others are hoping that the 14-turn, 4.048-mile (6.515-kilometer) natural terrain road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin doesn’t get the axe, given the historic element and atmosphere that the venue brings to the sport.

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The full 2023 schedule is set to be released later this summer, though a date for the formal reveal hasn’t been determined. The fact that we now have a tentative date for an announcement that many have long been anticipating, however, is a sign that things are moving full steam ahead in terms of the overall planning process for next year.