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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

NASCAR will be back at Grant Park in Chicago for a second run of street racing in July this year. Despite a rain-affected first-ever feature last year, NASCAR announced that it would be back for the unique two-day event. The two-day event is expected to generate extra income for the city through tourism, but the locals are skeptical about the race weekend. However, it looks like NASCAR is trying to win over the Chicago residents with the help of last year’s winner, Shane van Gisbergen.

NASCAR is celebrating the inaugural Chicago street race

SVG has grown to become a popular figure in NASCAR in just a short period of time. The breakthrough moment for the Kiwi speedster came when he clinched last season’s win in the streets of Windy City. With NASCAR now gearing up for its second year of racing this summer, they are still far from winning the trust of the city residents.

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In an attempt to make Chicagoans feel a part of the sport, NASCAR unveiled an exhibit from last year’s race at their home in Charlotte. The display includes SVG’s uniform and the shoes he wore during the race. Julie Giese and the Kaulig Racing driver were both present to unveil the exhibition.

There’s a reason NASCAR is trying all it can to win over the locals of the city. Last year, there were a lot of doubts regarding the race and how it would affect the city. A poll also stated that only four out of 10 city residents approved of the race. Giese, who has spearheaded the Chicago street race, is back on duty, visiting the city’s neighborhood and trying to clear any doubts about the NASCAR race. Interestingly, among the questions, the residents were also curious about Shane van Gisbergen’s return.

With NASCAR returning to the streets of Chicago, it is important to know about the major changes the governing council has made for this year’s event.

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NASCAR has opted to cut the race length for this year’s street races in Chicago

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Just like last year, NASCAR has scheduled two days, one each for Xfinity and the Cup Series races. However, these races will be shorter than last year’s original schedule. The Xfinity race, Loop 110, is a 50-lap race over 110 miles, which is a little short compared to last season’s 55-lap race. Cole Custer bagged the win on the day after the race was cut short due to a heavy downpour of rain.

The Cup Series race, Grant Park 165, the main event of the weekend, will run for 75 laps over 165 miles. NASCAR has again cut down on the length of the race from last year’s feature, which had 100 laps over 220 miles. But thanks to the gloomy weather and treacherous racing conditions, it was reduced to a 78-lap event, which saw van Gisbergen clinch his first Cup win in his debut run.

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Given that NASCAR has taken all the factors into account, reducing the length of the race will allow them a buffer in case things turn sour, just like last year. It will be interesting to see how different and successful this year’s street race in Chicago will turn out to be.

Read More: Shane Van Gisbergen’s Kerfuffle With Austin Hill Was Nothing but a Lesson to Remember for the Newbie