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Merely a Month Before NASCAR’s Chicago Dream Comes True, Dale Earnhardt Jr Warns Cup Drivers of ‘Challenges & Misery’ After Preliminary Testing

Published 06/03/2023, 1:05 PM EDT

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During its 75th anniversary, NASCAR has brought significant changes in the season to attract a larger fanbase. Among them, two highly anticipated fixtures included the revival of the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway and the introduction of NASCAR’s first-ever street race in Chicago. With the All-Star Race already in the read view mirror for all of us, the awaited Chicago Street Race is hardly a month away.

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After playing a crucial role in reviving North Wilkesboro Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr had the opportunity to test the new racing venue as well before the upcoming race. Junior proclaimed that the Chicago Street Course was unlike anything he had ever witnessed. However, there is certainly more to it as he also warned the drivers about some upcoming challenges.

Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Stark Warning to Cup Drivers About Challenges at Chicago Street Race


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The race will be known as Grant Park 220, taking place on a 2.14-mile course with 12 turns. The course will wind through closed-off streets, with temporary fences. Starting on Columbus Drive, the track will encompass sections to reach South Michigan Avenue. Notably, Michigan Avenue presents a formidable challenge with its sharp turns.

The JR Motorsports owner shared insights about the track, cautioning cup drivers with surprising facts. He highlighted a particularly sharp turn where drivers will need to rapidly reduce their speed from 140 mph to a mere 40 mph, aptly describing the situation as a “Traffic Jam.”


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Expressing his initial observations, he, as per Chicago Tribune, said, My first reaction was that the track is a lot wider than I anticipated, But it also funnels down in some narrow spaces that will create some challenges as they contest positions getting into those areas, like who goes first. They’re going to argue over that.”

Later, Junior candidly addressed cup series drivers, There’ll be some guys that like it. There will be some guys that find it challenging and miserable.”

Read More: This Sounds So Awkward”–Fans Bash NASCAR’s “Desperate” Publicity Attempt Amid Big Chainsmokers News

Why Several Fans Are Not Thrilled With This Event?

As it turns out, the idea is not just to introduce street racing to NASCAR, but also to offer fans an exceptional and luxurious experience with it. Attendees can indulge in an all-inclusive premium food and beverage package while enjoying the excitement of pre-race activities and driver introductions. Some famous artists like Chainsmokers are going to perform during the weekend as well.


Given the exceptional offerings and luxurious amenities, it comes as no surprise that NASCAR will charge a handsome ticket price for this extraordinary event. Reports suggest that single tickets for the mega event, specifically for the President Paddock Club seats, will be priced at $3015 per person.

Additionally, the lowest entry fees for general admission start at $269, which is almost double compared to other race tickets. So that is why some fans are not excited about the event in general. 


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In a recent tweet, Kenny Wallace, a former race car driver and former reporter for Fox, offered his perspective, comparing NASCAR to Formula 1.


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What do you think? It is NASCAR’s way to have their own Miami/Las Vegas Grand Prix-esque event? Do you think the race will be successful? Let us know in the comments below.

Watch This Story: “One more reason not to go”- Controversy erupts as NASCAR bends down to leverage engine roar for “one and done” Chicago Street Race



Moinakhtar Akhunji

264 articles

Moinakhtar Akhunji is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. With a love for racing spanning almost a decade, he brings his passion and expertise to every article he writes. Growing up as an automobile enthusiast, he quickly developed a deep appreciation for the technical and competitive aspects of both F1 and NASCAR.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh