JOLIET, Ill. - NASCAR is hitting the track again next year, but Joliet learned there will be no races at the Chicagoland Speedway.
The Chicagoland Speedway hosted Nascar events for more than two decades, but now they are pulling out.
“We are disappointed, but hopeful its a one year thing and not permanent,” said Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk.
O’Dekirk says he's been told a crew will continue to maintain the track and grounds so they aren’t closing up shop just yet.
But Jordan Bressler with a local sports marketing agency says the writing is on the wall.
“To tell you the truth, I think that the facility, the operations have maybe seen their better day,” said Bressler.
He says the facility probably needs a facelift adding the area has changed in the past 20 years, becoming industrial with large warehouses around the speedway.
“It's almost impossible to get through that area. With all the trucks that are coming through there, that's not really the kind of thing that I can see a NASCAR fan getting excited about. They're trying to go to the racetrack on a Friday,” said Bressler.
NASCAR officials will only say the move is part of bold changes to the 2021 schedule.
“We will miss some of those areas but at the same time, not running in Chicago, we still have a lot of great tracks in Midwest region now . . . we have road America just up the road,” said NASCAR Vice President of Racing Development Ben Kennedy.
“Its another shot that these businesses are taking, hotel industry has struggled, riverboat’s seriosuly impacted, NASCAR was a great event and great weekend,” said O’Dekirk.
NASCAR also announced Route 66 Speedway will not host drag races next year.
The president of the speedway says he hopes to work with NASCAR to bring races back to this speedway.