Story By: Sol Tucker and Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Despite being soaked as many people were over the course of two days, the Chicago Street race actually happened, but was shortened due to the possibility of available light later in the evening after starting over 1.5 hours late at 5:34pm.
For hours on end, no one though this race was going to occur. The heaviest of rain fell all day on Sunday and really only let up for good around 430pm, where track dryers were able to get the racecourse ready to try and make it happen and it did.
NASCAR’s decision to push back the Cup Series race from its planned 4:05 p.m. start time came minutes after the National Weather Service sent another emergency alert regarding the “life-threatening” flash flood warning.
Shane van Gisbergen won his first victory in his NASCAR Cup Series debut at the rain-delayed, darkness-shortened, Grant Park 220 on the Chicago Street Race Course.
There were nine cautions, the last one coming on the last lap, which added additional laps in overtime.
Van Gisbergen defeated Justin Haley, who came in second followed by Chase Elliott.
“You always dream of it,” the Van Gisbergen said with a big smile. “Thank you so much to the TrackHouse team and to all of Project91. I mean, what an experience, in the crowd out here. This is so cool.” We were so close from this not happening.
After the race both the city and NASCAR said they would evaluate their options for 2024. Can this happen without another bump in the road? Lots of discussions will happen the coming months after NASCAR spent $50 million investing in making this happen.