NASCAR Chicago Street Race ready to roll rain or shine, officials say

NASCAR is equipping its race cars to handle a downpour, adding rain tires, windshield wipers and a red, blinking tail light.

SHARE NASCAR Chicago Street Race ready to roll rain or shine, officials say
Bleachers are set up as the city prepares for the 2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race on South Columbus Drive near Buckingham Fountain, Tuesday, June 27, 2023.

NASCAR officials say a little rain won’t put the brakes on its Chicago Street Race events.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Rain is forecast during this weekend’s NASCAR Chicago Street Race, but a shower won’t necessarily put the brakes on the downtown event.

NASCAR is equipping the race cars to handle wet track surfaces with a few modifications, including rain tires, windshield wipers and a red, blinking taillight.

The real hazard is lightning, which would force organizers to postpone a race, according to Street Course President Julie Giese.

If Saturday’s Xfinity race is postponed for weather, the race will be moved to Sunday morning and be run before the Cup race that afternoon.

If one or both races are canceled on Sunday for weather, they will be held on Monday, the last day available for NASCAR races around Grant Park.

If it rains, NASCAR says it will use special vehicles with blowers to dry the track.

NASCAR will use three types of blowers: Tundras or Air Titans, which use compressed air to blow water from the road; Buffalo Blowers that blow cold air; and an Elgin, which sweeps and vacuums, a spokesperson told the Sun-Times.

They won’t be using jet dryers that blow hot air, the spokesperson said.

NASCAR officials said Thursday they were feeling confident about the forecast.

“I think we’re feeling good,” Giese told the Sun-Times. “We’ve been in these scenarios before. We’ve got a plan. I think it’s something we can’t control. We just need to be prepared.”

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