NASCAR Nuggets: Chicago Street Race Closer to Reality


Chicagoland 2004 Ncar

An official announcement of NASCAR racing on the streets of Chicago could come this month (Photo: Sherryl Creekmore/NASCAR)

Last weekend at Road America, the prevailing question about NASCAR racing at the 4-mile road course was: How long is this going to last?


Will NASCAR continue to visit the Wisconsin track, or as multiple reports have indicated, will NASCAR soon use its date on the calendar to race on the streets of Chicago?

According to a report by The Athletic, we may soon have the answer.

Through a public records request, The Athletic obtained a letter from the city of Chicago to NASCAR endorsing the concept of a three-year street race beginning in 2023.

The letter was addressed to Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing development and strategy.

The Athletic reported that no contact has yet been signed, but an announcement is expected on July 19.

If the deal goes through, it would result in the first NASCAR Cup Series race on a street course. The NASCAR Xfinity Series participated in street racing in Mexico City (2005-’08) and Montreal, Quebec (2007-’12).

Denny Hamlin Gets Coca-Cola for Atlanta

For much of his NASCAR Cup Series career, Denny Hamlin had a sponsor, FedEx.

But in the past two seasons, Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota has had other companies show up on it. Now Hamlin, a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, will have a Coca-Cola paint scheme for the first time.

On Wednesday, Coca-Cola revealed Hamlin’s scheme for Sunday’s Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which is Coca-Cola’s home track.

Unfortunately for Hamlin, history is not on his side.

While Coca-Cola has been a longtime sponsor of NASCAR, it has been nearly 50 years since a Cup car with Coca-Cola as its title sponsor, on the hood, has been in victory lane.

It last happened in 1975, when Bobby Allison won the Southern 500. Since then, Coke has been in victory lane in the Cup Series, albeit as an associate sponsor. Kyle Larson won twice in 2017 when Coca-Cola was located in his rear quarter panels.

winning records

With Tyler Reddick’s victory Sunday at Road America, there have been five first-time Cup Series winners this season. That equals the series’ Modern Era record that was also set in 2001, 2002 and 2011.

Road America also produced the 13th different winner of the NASCAR Cup Series season, tied with the 2002 season for the second-most winners through 18 races in the Modern Era. That trails the 2003 season with 14 different winners. The most winners to finish a 26-race regular season in the Cup Series during the Playoff Era (2004-2022) is 15 different winners in 2011. The record for different winners in a full season in the Series of the NASCAR Cup Series is 19 different winners and has happened four times (1956, 1958, 1961 and 2001).

Logano at the SRX booth

Crossovers between NASCAR and the Superstar Racing Experience continue to grow.

It was announced Thursday that Joey Logano will be a guest analyst for the CBS broadcast of the SRX season finale on Saturday, July 23 at Sharon Speedway in Ohio.

Logano has been seen a lot on the Fox Sports booth as a driver analyst for NASCAR Xfinity Series races.

Logano’s Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney will compete in the race at Sharon, along with his father, Dave Blaney. The Blaney family is part owner of the dirt track.

television ratings

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America took a hit in the qualifying department. As the first Cup race scheduled on USA Network, the July 3 race alone drew 1.93 billion viewers. That compares with 3.078 million last year, when the race was held on the main network of NBC.