Chicago revved up for NASCAR Street Race Weekend

After months of planning and weeks of preparing the track, NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race is now just hours away and Chicagoans are revved up and ready for the weekend!

NASCAR star Bubba Wallace celebrated with the community on Friday by hosting the 2nd Annual Bubba’s Block Party, featuring Chicago hip-hop legend Twista.

"I took off work, and everything!" said John Stansberry, a NASCAR fan.

"It’s been NASCAR, NASCAR, NASCAR all week," said another fan, Katrina Haywood.

"It’s something I never thought I would enjoy, but now I love it," added Shaneka Stanley, a NASCAR fan.

Held in Douglass Park and free to attend, fans fueled up on fun with activities for the whole family.

"My sister and I, we went last year, and we had a wonderful time. So, I was like, I have to come back and see him again," said attendee Ruby Wormely.

Wallace, who is set to take part in the NASCAR Cup Series: Grant Park 165 on Sunday, met with fans.

"It’s a humbling experience to see the crowd turn up for an event like this," said Wallace.

Some fans, including Debora Evans, said they got hooked on racing during last summer’s Chicago Street Race.

"It boosts our morale – another unique thing for the Chi," said Evans.

For the Stanleys, it's a favorite pastime that's been years in the making.

"Each Saturday and Sunday, we’re sitting there watching the races and following the storylines, picking out our favorite racers," said Brian Stanley Sr., who got into the sport about five years ago.

Also pumped for the party is former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Anthony 'Spice' Adams, who was a featured guest at Bubba’s Block Party.

"Chicago always has a special place in my heart," said Adams. "They took me in in 2007 and I haven’t looked back!"

Adams is serving as an honorary NASCAR event official during Race Weekend.

"I think the pit crew is the same as getting in a huddle and running a play, running a play to perfection," said Adams.

RELATED: NASCAR Chicago Street Race 2024 guide: Everything you need to know

During the block party, which was held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Wallace’s pit crew showcased their own speeds – an important highlight for the NASCAR driver.

"The drivers are made to look like superheroes on TV every Sunday, but you gotta look at how we get to the track, and how our cars are able to perform, and the tools we are given to perform with. It’s all because of the men and women behind the scenes to make it happen," said Wallace.

As the second Black NASCAR driver to win a National Series Race, Wallace is also sharing why it is so important to showcase diversity in the sport.

"For me, I feel like I carry a responsibility. I am different looking than my competitors," said Wallace. "Representation matters – that’s been a hot topic over the last several years now. You’re just able to see a lot of different things and a lot of the same and the likeness that maybe you wouldn’t see yourself in."

As the event unfolded on the city's West Side, crews were finalizing the track and main viewing areas for the weekend.

Two races will be held: On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series race known as "The Loop 110" and on Sunday, the Cup Series race – the "Grant Park 165."

Streets in and around Grant Park are now almost completely locked down to traffic.

The Chicago Police Department, along with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, will be deploying additional support downtown throughout the weekend.

Up to 50,000 people are expected to attend each day of race weekend.