Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fast Track Facts: Chicagoland Speedway

credit: NASCAR Media
Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL hosts the first race in this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. The 1.5-mile D-shaped tri-oval will host all three of NASCAR’s top-tier series – Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Trucks – and the ARCA Racing Series, and over the years has hosted other series as well. Learn more about this week’s host in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Discussions on building a race track in the Chicago area began in late 1995. Spearheaded by Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George and International Speedway Corporation CEO Bill France Jr., a jointly-held company called The Motorsports Alliance was formed, and the search for a site began. Route 66 Raceway, a drag strip that hosts the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, was already built in the Joliet area; after impact studies were conducted, the Joliet city council unanimously approved the speedway to be built adjacent to Route 66 Raceway in Jan. 1999. Ground was broken for the speedway in Sept. 1999.
  • The speedway officially opened in July 2001, hosting NASCAR, the IndyCar Series and Indy Lights. The Verizon IndyCar Series raced at the track from 2001-2010, recording three of the five closest finishes in IndyCar history, including the closest finish ever in 2002 (0.0024 seconds, Sam Hornish Jr. over Al Unser Jr.). In addition to NASCAR’s top three series and the ARCA Racing Series, the track has also hosted the Traxxas TORC (The Off Road Championship) Series, the International Race of Champions and the USAC Silver Crown Series.
  • The inaugural Cup Series pole was won by Todd Bodine in 2001. Jimmie Johnson currently leads all competitors with two poles. The current qualifying record for the Cup Series is held by Joey Logano (189.414 mph/28.509 seconds), set in Sept. 2013.
  • The inaugural Cup Series race in 2001 at Chicagoland was won by Kevin Harvick – he also won the 2002 race, currently the only driver to post consecutive wins there. Tony Stewart leads all drivers with three victories.
  • Chicagoland Speedway is home to Champions Park, an interactive fan display in a park-like setting. Monuments honoring each of the track’s Cup and IndyCar winners can be seen throughout the area, located next to the grandstands.
  • Find out more about Chicagoland Speedway at its website, www.chicagolandspeedway.com


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