NASCAR announces 2024 Chicago street race date, city says it's working to address resident concerns

The dates for the second race of a three-year commitment by the city of Chicago to host NASCAR in the streets of downtown was announced on Wednesday.

"Today, NASCAR announced its 2024 schedule, which includes a return to Chicago on July 6th and 7th for Chicago Street Race weekend," a statement from Mayor Brandon Johnson's office said.

The 2024 race weekend will include the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sun. July 7 at 3:30 p.m. CT, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series race to take place on Sat. July 6 at 1:30 p.m. CT.

The city entered a three-year agreement with NASCAR last year, which included a two-year renewal option, and hosted its first-ever race on the streets of downtown Chicago on July 2.

This year’s race weekend in early July took over Grant Park and shut down parts of DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue. Lightning and torrential rains disrupted much of the two-day event — both races were cut short and most of the weekend’s concerts were canceled.

Justin Haley, driver of the #31 Benesch Law Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 220 at the Chicago Street Course on July 02, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images / Getty Images)

But while the city said the inaugural race ushered in a windfall of commercial success for the city's economy, many downtown residents said they do not want the race to return.

An unscientific poll conducted by Ald. Brendan Reilly's office (42nd), whose ward includes much of downtown and Grant Park, found over half of the participants did not support NASCAR returning in 2023.

In Wednesday's statement, Johnson's office said it began conversations with NASCAR at the conclusion of this year's race to address concerns raised by residents and other stakeholders, many of whom cited traffic congestion as a major inconvenience caused by the race.

"As a result of these conversations, NASCAR has agreed to shorten the event’s set up and tear down windows, reducing travel disruption for impacted communities and other residents," the statement said. "NASCAR has also committed to addressing costs incurred by City departments and agencies in facilitating and securing the event as consistent with other large-scale events. This is a win for Chicago taxpayers, as the original agreement did not include provisions for such costs."

The statement went on to say NASCAR has committed to expanding its investment in Chicago communities while increasing the number of opportunities for small, minority, and women-owned business to participate as vendors in the 2024 event.

Torrential rains delayed races at the NASCAR street course in Chicago, Illinois, on Sunday, July 2, 2023.  (Jim Vondruska/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The city's tourism bureau, Choose Chicago, says area hotels reached an 80% occupancy rate over the weekend proceeding 4th of July thanks to NASCAR and USA Volleyball.

Hotel revenue totaled $27.2 million over Friday, Saturday and Sunday night after over nearly 190,000 rooms were occupied.

Revenue from hotels yielded $1.7 million in state taxes and $3 million in local taxes totaling $4.7 million.

Chicago hotels reached the highest revenue totals for the weekend prior to 4th of July since 2015 – when the Grateful Dead sold out Soldier Field for three straight nights.