Chicagoland Speedway

Coordinates: 41°28′29″N 88°03′26″W / 41.47472°N 88.05722°W / 41.47472; -88.05722
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Chicagoland Speedway

Location500 Speedway Blvd., Joliet, Illinois 60433
Time zoneUTC−6 / UTC−5 (DST)
Coordinates41°28′29″N 88°03′26″W / 41.47472°N 88.05722°W / 41.47472; -88.05722
OwnerNASCAR (2019–present)
International Speedway Corporation (2007–2019)
OperatorNASCAR (2007–present)
Broke ground28 September 1999; 24 years ago (1999-09-28)
OpenedJuly 2001; 22 years ago (2001-07)
Construction cost$130 million
Major eventsFormer:
NASCAR Cup Series
Camping World 400 (2001–2019)
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Chicagoland 300 (2001–2019)
Owens Corning AttiCat 300 (2011–2015)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Camping World 225 (2009–2019)
ARCA Menards Series
Dawn 150 (2001–2019)
IndyCar Series
Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 (2001–2010)
Indy Lights Chicagoland 100 (2002–2010)
USAC Silver Crown Series (2006–2007)
IROC (2002–2003)
Tri-Oval (2001–present)
Length2.446 km (1.520 miles)
BankingTurns: 18°
Tri-Oval: 11°
Backstretch: 5°
Race lap record0:24.4216 (224.067 mph (360.601 km/h)) (United States Buddy Rice, Dallara IR-02, 2002, IndyCar)

Chicagoland Speedway is a 1.520 mi (2.446 km) tri-oval speedway with a curved backstretch in Joliet, Illinois, southwest of Chicago. The speedway opened in 2001 and actively hosted NASCAR racing including the NASCAR Cup Series until 2019. Until 2010, the speedway has also hosted the IndyCar Series, recording numerous close finishes including the closest finish in IndyCar history. The speedway is owned and operated by NASCAR.


First discussions of building a major speedway near Chicago took place in an informal meeting between Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George and International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Bill France Jr. in late 1995. Together they formed The Motorsports Alliance, a joint company owned by Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and International Speedway Corporation. By 1995, a major racing facility had been built or was near completion near Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The Chicago area was an untapped market for motorsports that had potential to be very lucrative.[2] In 1996, the search began for a site to build a speedway somewhere near Chicago. Several sites were considered, and a track was built in suburban Cicero (Chicago Motor Speedway), but eventually attention turned to the Joliet area where George Barr had negotiated to build Route 66 Raceway. Barr convinced Joliet officials to meet with the Motorsports Alliance to discuss building their speedway adjacent to Route 66 Raceway.[3] The success of Route 66 Raceway, completed in 1998, led to the city conducting an impact study of the proposed speedway. The study revealed the new speedway would generate $300 million for the Joliet and Will County region and over 3,000 jobs.

The Joliet city council unanimously approved the speedway on January 19, 1999.[4] Following the approval, the Will County Board extended the Des Plaines River Valley Enterprise Zone in order to give a tax break to the speedway developers. The tax break news also led to the Joliet High School district threatening to bail out of the enterprise zone, but a compromise was reached.[5] In May 1999, The Motorsports Alliance combined with Route 66 Raceway LLC to form Raceway Associates, LCC with Coyne as president alongside George and France.[6]

Raceway Associates revealed the track would be a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) d-shaped tri-oval superspeedway. Joie Chitwood III was named vice president and general manager of the facility. During the announcement, France stated the significance of the new speedway:

The construction of a major league racing facility of this magnitude and quality in the Chicago metropolitan market symbolizes the ongoing transformation of auto racing from a narrowly-focused regional competition to a major mainstream sport. This type of racing will rival the NFL, NBA and Major League baseball for fan and sponsorship involvement. We are absolutely thrilled to be here.

The IndyCar Series racing at Chicagoland

Architecture and engineering firm HNTB, which has built stadiums and arenas such as the RCA Dome, Los Angeles Coliseum and the Rose Bowl, was selected to lead the design of the facility. Construction management company Bovis Lend Lease headed the construction of the speedway.[7] Construction started in August 1999, with groundbreaking September 28, 1999. On May 8, 2000, in a press conference at Chicago's Navy Pier, the track's name and inaugural events were announced.[2] Construction of the speedway resulted in a few problems. In the summer of 2000, homes near the speedway were flooded as a result of heavy rains and run-off from excavation. In February 2001, a worker was killed after falling from the skybox suites on top of the grandstands.[5] Construction was completed in spring 2001.[2]

The track has seen little expansion since its construction, with the only major addition being the installation of lights around the track in 2008.[8] This was "phase one" of four phases that were originally designed for construction and possible expansion. Phase four would consist of a Bristol type seating capacity completely surrounding the speedway. The Indycar Series ran at the track since 2001, recording three of the top five closest finishes in Indycar history, including the closest in 2002.[9] Despite the close finishes, the speedway announced IndyCar would not return to the track for the 2011 season.[10] The speedway also announced changes to the NASCAR schedule for 2011, with the NASCAR Cup Series race moving to September 16–18 as the first race in the 2011 Chase for the Championship. The Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series also raced the same weekend, in addition, the Nationwide Series had a stand-alone race day on June 4.[11]

On May 14, 2015, Andersen Promotions, which organizes the Indy Lights series, conducted an oval test at Chicagoland Speedway, marking the first time since 2010 any level of the Mazda Road to Indy was at the track. The test was used by INDYCAR officials to give the Dallara IL-15 its first official oval laps.[12]

On January 28, 2019, it was revealed on ISC's 2018 annual report that the raceway's track seating was reduced from 55,000 to 47,000.[1]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, races at the Chicagoland Speedway for the 2020 season were canceled. Shortly thereafter, most of the track employees were laid off. On May 11, 2020, it was leaked that large parts of the land around the track would be sub-developed into an industrial park, leaving the future of the speedway unknown.[13]

On September 27, 2020, rumors arose that Chicagoland Speedway as well as Kentucky Speedway would lose their NASCAR races in 2021, which was officially confirmed by the speedway two days later on September 29. In addition, neighboring Route 66 Raceway announced it would remain closed through the 2021 season, leaving both tracks without scheduled races for the 2021 season.[14]

On January 6, 2023, it was announced that Chicagoland Speedway would host the SuperMotorcross World Championship Playoff Round 2.[15] This would be the first race at the track in any capacity since 2019.

Track length of paved oval[edit]

The track length varies between the two major series that run at Chicagoland Speedway. The NASCAR timing and scoring use a length of 1.50 miles (2.41 km).[16] The IRL timing and scoring used a track length of 1.52 miles (2.45 km).[17]

Track records[edit]

Record Date Driver Time Speed/Avg. Speed
NASCAR Cup Series
Qualifying September 14, 2013 Joey Logano 28.509 189.414 mph (304.832 km/h)
Race September 18, 2016 Martin Truex Jr. 2:47:24 145.161 mph (233.614 km/h)
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Qualifying July 8, 2005 Ryan Newman 28.964 186.438 mph (300.043 km/h)
Race July 10, 2009 Joey Logano 2:02:10 147.340 mph (237.121 km/h)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Qualifying June 28, 2019 Austin Hill 30.572 176.632 mph (284.262 km/h)
Race August 27, 2010 Kyle Busch 1:44:31 132.610 mph (213.415 km/h)
IndyCar Series
Qualifying September 6, 2003 Richie Hearn 24.521 223.159 mph (359.140 km/h)
Race September 10, 2006 Dan Wheldon 1:33:37 194.828 mph (313.545 km/h)

Lap records[edit]

As of June 2019, the fastest official race lap records at Chicagoland Speedway are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Date
Tri-Oval: 2.446 km (2001–present)[19]
IndyCar 24.4216 Buddy Rice Dallara IR-02 2002 Delphi Indy 300
Indy Lights 28.3159[20] Travis Gregg Dallara IPS 2004 Chicagoland Indy Lights round
NASCAR Cup 29.736[21] Kyle Busch Toyota Camry 2017 Tales of the Turtles 400
NASCAR Xfinity 30.864[22] Cole Custer Ford Mustang 2019 Camping World 300
NASCAR Truck 30.896[23] Brett Moffitt Chevrolet Silverado 2019 Camping World 225

NASCAR Cup Series records[edit]

(As of 6/30/19)

Most Wins 3 Tony Stewart
Most Top 5s 10 Kevin Harvick
Most Top 10s 12 Jimmie Johnson
Starts 19 Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch
Poles 2 Jimmie Johnson
Most Laps Led 705 Jimmie Johnson
Avg. Start++ 3.0 Daniel Hemric
Avg. Finish* 6.17 Kyle Larson
Avg. Driver Rating** 121.00 Kyle Larson
Most Did Not Finish++ 6 Joe Nemechek, Mike Bliss[24]

* from minimum 2 starts. ++ Since 2001. ** Since 2018.


  1. ^ a b Page, Scott (January 27, 2019). "International Speedway Corporation continues to reduce tack seating". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Chicagoland Speedway". Chicagoland Speedway. Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  3. ^ "Chicagoland". Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  4. ^ "Joliet City Council Approves the Motorsports Alliance, LLC and Route 66 Raceway's Plans". All Business. January 19, 1999. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Chicagoland Speedway Timeline". Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "Motorsports Alliance and Route 66 Raceway Announce Transaction and Land Purchase". Business Wire. May 5, 1999. ProQuest 446673128.
  7. ^ "Construction Partner Profiles". Chicagoland Speedway. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  8. ^ "Chicagoland Speedway announces addition of lights". Racewayreport. September 25, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  9. ^ "IndyCar Sets Record for Entries at Chicagoland Speedway". Chicagoland Speedway. Archived from the original on October 31, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  10. ^ "Statement Regarding IZOD IndyCar Series Not Returning in 2011". Chicagoland Speedway. September 10, 2010. Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  11. ^ "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series". Chicagoland Speedway. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  12. ^ "Belardi Auto Racing Tops Indy Lights Test at Chicagoland".
  13. ^ "NASCAR Report on Instagram: "NEWS: NASCAR is planning to turn part of the Chicagoland Speedway into an industrial park. This move will not affect the track itself, as it will remain intact with the proposed deal. Even though the final plat encompasses about half of the track, warehouses planned for the site would not interfere. --- "I have attached the staff report which was presented to the Joliet Plan Commission at their meeting on April 16. The staff report provides some background. At the request of the applicant, the Plan Commission voted to table the subdivision request to their meeting on July 16. Under the proposal, 82.3 acres which is presently an accessory parking area would be sold to Hillwood Investment Properties for future warehouse development. Chicagoland Speedway LLC would own the remaining balance of racetrack property." --- 📸: NASCAR 📃: Kickin the Tires | Adam Stern --- #MonsterCupNews #NASCAR #Cars #RaceCar #Racing #NASCARReport"".
  14. ^ "Chicagoland Speedway, Route 66 Raceway will not have races in 2021". Chicago Tribune. September 29, 2020. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  15. ^ Chicagoland Speedway Set to Host First-Ever SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff Round Chicagoland Speedway 6 January 2023
  16. ^ Chicagoland Speedway at
  17. ^ 2010 race result on
  18. ^ "Race Results at Chicagoland Speedway". Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  19. ^ "Chicagoland - Motorsport Magazine". Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  20. ^ "2004 Chicagoland Indy Lights". Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  21. ^ "NASCAR Cup 2017 Chicagoland". Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  22. ^ "NASCAR XFINITY 2019 Chicagoland". Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  23. ^ "NASCAR Truck 2019 Chicagoland". Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  24. ^ "NASCAR Statistics: Chicagoland Speedway".

External links[edit]