Chicagoland revs up for Sprint Cup
For the third year in a row, those looks of anticipation will be focused on Joliet as the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off with the Geico 400 Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway.
In the meantime, the facility will enter the season with a mandate to blend the excitement of the track with a variety of activities for people of all ages in NASCAR; including the Rally, Rock and Race weekend July 19-21.
While the majority of people envision camping as a quiet sojourn in an idyllic wilderness, thousands see their ideal campsite at a NASCAR track.
The roar of the engines is more comforting than a soft breeze gently whistling through the pines and the company of a throng of rabid racing fans is preferable to blissful isolation.
Chicagoland is all too aware of this and is making sure that the period of Sept. 12-15, 2013 will see the facility as much a family vacation spot as it will be a sports venue. “This is all very exciting for us,” says Nicole Meagher, senior manager of communications for Chicagoland Speedway and the Route 66 Racetrack. “We’ll have the best drivers in the world coming to Joliet.”
Since it is the first event in the Chase for the Cup, the Geico 400 is somewhat akin to the New Hampshire Primary, the first test for contestants for the party presidential nomination.
In the 2012 Geico 400, Brad Keselowski edged out Jimmie Johnson for the checkered flag, then went on to win it all.
(Johnson, fresh off a win in the Daytona 500, should be a formidable challenger in 2013).
For many, NASCAR has transcended from being a sporting event, to the point where it’s a culture. This is a reason Meagher is emphasizing the weekend as a family event.
The culture aspect, she figures, is “what is so appealing for a lot of race fans who see (the race weekend) as their vacation.”
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many people will be in attendance at the three-day event, since people arrive for a variety of reasons.
They could be there for the races themselves, for the camping weekend, or for a specific event.
Suffice to say, though, that it means millions will be generated for the local economy. Racing is not the only thing on the menu. Meagher says the lineup will include live entertainment and numerous children’s activities. “There will be different events in the city of Joliet and across the county,” points out Maegher. “Hopefully, we’ll have something for everybody.”
It might seem that September is a long way off, but Meagher gives a valid reason why people should look into buying their tickets and reserving their camping spaces, now.
Before April 1, ticket prices will be at their lowest. “Between now and April 1 is a great time to buy them,” she says.
While it’s never too early to start preparing for the September extravaganza, there will also be plenty to sate the race fan’s appetite before then.
Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway have announced details for the Rally, Rock and Race weekend July 19-21.
It will be a three-day festival of NASCAR action, music, off-road racing and car shows.
Rally, Rock and Race weekend will be headlined by the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Sunday.
Following the STP 300, the future stars of NASCAR will take to the 1.5-mile oval in the ARCA Racing Series.
The weekend also features two nights of the Traxxas TORC Series, complete with Baja-style off-road racing at Route 66 Raceway’s dirt oval.
For example, some of the most unique and exciting moments in racing come when trucks take to the oval.
It will also feature the return of summer night racing at Chicagoland Speedway with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The trucks will race under the lights on Saturday night.
For complete information, visit the website at chicagolandspeedway.com
Written by Dan Pelton