5 great spots where fans watched NASCAR Chicago without a ticket

There were several places along the perimeter of the track where fans got a good taste of the racing spectacle without going inside.

SHARE 5 great spots where fans watched NASCAR Chicago without a ticket
Ciaran Burns of Ireland peers under a fence at Michigan and Jackson to watch the NASCAR Chicago race.

Ciaran Burns of Ireland peers under a fence at Michigan and Jackson to watch the NASCAR Chicago race.

Dave Newbart/Sun-Times

Tickets to NASCAR’s historic weekend of races in Chicago weren’t cheap — but fans found a way around that.

There were a variety of places outside the perimeter of the 2.2-mile course where they got a taste of the action by peering under fences, through screens and across roads to get a taste of two-day racing spectacle.

Here are some of the spots fans flocked to downtown on Saturday and Sunday.

1. Roosevelt and Columbus

This by far the best spot. You can watch as cars whiz by on their way into Turn 5 and head north on Columbus. There is more room here to gather since Roosevelt is closed to other traffic.

Fans watch NASCAR Chicago as cars take a tough turn at Roosevelt and Columbus.

Fans watch NASCAR Chicago as cars take a tough turn at Roosevelt and Columbus.

Dave Newbart/Sun-Times

The view from outside the track at Roosevelt and Columbus Saturday.

The view from outside the track at Roosevelt and Columbus Saturday.

Provided/Robert Gigliotti

2. Michigan and Harrison

Although there is a blue screen over a perimeter fence here, the cars come close enough to the sidewalk that you can get a decent view.

3. Michigan and Jackson

Fans here climbed onto planters and even street lights to get a glimpse of the turn as cars sped north on Michigan and then headed east on Jackson. But others ducked down, looked under the fence, and got a nice view.

Fans climb light posts and peer under fences to get a glimpse of NASCAR Saturday.

Fans climb light posts and peer under fences to get a glimpse of NASCAR Saturday.

Dave Newbart/Sun-Times

That included Ciaran Burns and Sarah Temple, who are from Ireland and in Chicago working in concessions at Wrigley Field for the summer.

“We heard it and said we had to have a look,” Burns, 22, said.

4. DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Balbo

With the lakefront bike path still open, many fans rode up to see the race from across DuSable Lake Shore Drive as the cars raced by. A video screen was also in view.

The turn at DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Balbo.

The turn at DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Balbo.

Dave Newbart/Sun-Times

5. The hill in front of the Field Museum

Nice snapshot of an iconic sign and skyline.

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