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Local News

NASCAR drops Chicagoland Speedway

The Chicagoland Speedway can be seen Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Joliet, Ill.
The Chicagoland Speedway can be seen Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Joliet, Ill.

Chicagoland Speedway will not host a NASCAR event in 2021.

The organization is expected to release its full season schedule Wednesday, but several sources confirmed that schedule release will not include an event at Chicagoland. Kentucky Speedway was also dropped from the NASCAR track rotation, marking the first time tracks have been removed from the rotation since the removal of Rockingham Speedway in 2005.

“The move away from NASCAR racing at Chicagoland Speedway is one of many changes reflected in the 2021 schedule, and by no means a reflection of the support our fans have demonstrated,” said track president Scott Paddock in a release on the speedway’s website. “Rather, it is a desire and an important step for the industry to incorporate new markets and new courses into the schedule, and expand the variety of competition.

"As far as NASCAR racing at the Chicagoland Speedway, it’s difficult at this time to speculate on what 2022 might bring. We will continue to work with NASCAR on potential future opportunities beyond 2021 and will keep you updated,“ Paddock said.

Additionally, Paddock confirmed that Route 66 Raceway will also not be holding a drag racing event in 2021. Route 66 Raceway was scheduled to host the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series this year, but that event was also canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NHRA hasn't released its schedule at this point, but Route 66 will also not be included on that schedule either, according to Paddock.

"Finally, due to the corresponding impact on the shared resources between Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, and the future uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Route 66 Raceway will unfortunately not be hosting drag racing events in 2021," Paddock added.

The Chicagoland Speedway had hosted Cup races from 2000-2019. The 2020 event was on this year's schedule but the date was first moved and eventually removed from the schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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