Lapping it up at NASCAR Chicago Street Race

By Karie Angell Luc for Chronicle Media

No. 97 driver Shane van Gisbergen (left) during the NASCAR Xfinity Series The Loop 110 race at NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend. (Photo by Karie Angell Luc/for Chronicle Media)

Earplugs or headphones were a must for many close to the action of NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend, which benefited from banner sunny weather on July 6 and July 7.

Many spectators near the roadway experienced the aroma of burning rubber, especially as racing heated up in the final laps and as the roadway surfaces were impacted by beating sun.

The Saturday lineup for NASCAR fans featured the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Cup Series Practice and Qualifying capped by the NASCAR Xfinity Series The Loop 110.

NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend on July 6, 2024. (Karie Angell Luc/Chronicle Media)

Sunday featured the NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 165.

The Chicago Street Race Weekend included entertainment by Keith Urban, The Chainsmokers, The Black Keys, Lauren Alaina, Buddy Guy and a special House Music 40th Anniversary Showcase.

Entertainment on Festival Field was available to all ticket holders. NASCAR Village at Butler Field was open to the general public.

Grandstands in the shade along the course appeared to have a high audience attendance. The bleachers across from the finish line had open areas of seating on Saturday.

People celebrate as eventual winner Shane van Gisbergen takes the lead. (Photo by Karie Angell Luc/for Chronicle Media)

Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series The Loop 110 took longer than expected. There were pileups where hoods of cars were bent up, requiring drivers, if they could still drive the car with significant damage, to navigate carefully back to the pit.

Another car became stuck in the tire corner at a turn and couldn’t get out to resume the race. Later in the race, one car seen driving in for a pit stop had significant sparks under the vehicle by the wheels.

While sharp turns now famous at NASCAR Chicago were challenges that made it harder to finish as the 50 laps continued, No. 97, Shane van Gisbergen, finshed first despite falling back a few times during the race.

Buddy Guy was the afternoon headliner at NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend on Saturday, July 6. (Photo by Karie Angell Luc/for Chronicle Media)

An announcer over the loudspeaker said the average speed of cars traveling on the 2.2-mile course got to 88 miles per hour.

Brittney Burns of downstate Champaign brought son K.J. Burns, 12, a rising seventh-grader who listed favorite drivers including Chase Elliott.

Brittney Burns hoped K.J. would cherish this NASCAR experience as a childhood memory maker.

“Since we’ve been following (NASCAR) for 10 years,” K.J.’s mother said, “I’m hoping that he gets a great experience.”