NASCAR is not allowing drivers to compete in both the Xfinity Series race and the Cup Series race at the Chicago Street Course this weekend.
Unlike the majority of NASCAR race weekends, drivers are only allowed to compete in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race or Sunday’s Cup Series race at the Chicago Street Circuit.
Note that this restriction goes both ways; it’s not simply a matter of preventing Cup Series drivers from competing in Xfinity Series like it is for certain other races on the schedule. Nobody is allowed to compete in both.
The reason for this limitation is the fact that the 12-turn, 2.2-mile (3.541-kilometer) temporary street course is a new track at which nobody has ever competed. In fact, this is the first street course race weekend in NASCAR history.
NASCAR doesn’t want anybody to have an advantage by gaining additional Chicago track time.
Drivers who are set to compete in the 55-lap Xfinity Series race, The Loop 121, are not allowed to compete in the 100-lap Cup Series race, the Grant Park 220, since they would enter the latter with an experience advantage.
Likewise, drivers who are set to compete in the Cup Series race are not allowed to gain that additional experience by competing in the Xfinity Series race the day before.
In addition to the obvious fact that NASCAR is preventing anybody from gaining this advantage, which they have done before for inaugural events, they are also preventing chaos when it comes to drivers trying to land rides for the races in which they aren’t already set to compete (specifically Cup Series drivers trying to land Xfinity Series rides).
There would be relatively high demand for seats if this were allowed to take place, so the choice was clear. It was simpler for all parties involved to simply not allow drivers to compete in more than one race.
The Loop 121 is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from the Chicago Street Course starting at 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 1, while the Grant Park 200 is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 2. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss either race!