iRacing and NASCAR recently released the Pro Invitational finale track, a brand new street circuit on the streets of Chicago; The track could surface on the real-life NASCAR schedule
There’s been a lot of rapid change within NASCAR in the last few years. And more is on the way, with the Next Gen car making it’s debut in 2022.
Take a digital lap on the Chicago Street Circuit in the video below.
Now, a street circuit is on the possible horizon. Earlier this year, NASCAR released a schedule for the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series. That scheduled left one track as TBA.
Now, that track has been released. It’s a digital street race on the streets of downtown Chicago. The 2.2 mile layout runs along the famed Michigan Avenue as well as Lakeshore Drive.
Previous executives at NASCAR stated that NASCAR would never run on the streets. However, with a change of management, that idea appears to be open for discussion.
For starters, it’s coming to life in a digital world. The track will make it’s debut on June 2 as real-world NASCAR stars take to the new road course.
“On behalf of the city of Chicago, I am thrilled to work with NASCAR and iRacing to showcase our great city to NASCAR fans who will be watching this cutting-edge event from around the country,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Through this exciting and innovative exhibition, fans will be able to see and experience Chicago’s iconic downtown in a way that has never been done before.”
Ben Kennedy on the NASCAR street circuit
“It’s new to us, we haven’t had a street course in 73 years of our sport’s history,” Ben Kennedy stated.
“The big thing is really creating a good product for racing fans, at the end of the day. Wide streets, unique corners and unique characteristics to the track too.”
“There’s a lot of street circuits out there that just go left and right. Whereas, the half circle, going through congress or the dogleg down lakeshore. That led us too it on top of the iconic location of it.”
iRacing scanned the streets of Chicago to make this happen
“Definitely not a traditional scan, and credit to Steve Myers and the group out at iRacing for being able to pull this off,” Kennedy said.
“But it was one Sunday night in October at about 12:30 in the morning that they sent a scanner out there in the middle of the night and just made laps around the course. They were there for a little bit, captured some pictures and videos and some of the data that’s necessary to build that out.
“From there, they were able to build kind of that generic model and as you guys will see in some of the content today, you can really start to see it come to life with the buildings and walls and fencing and some of the street posts and lighting. Still a work in progress and we’ll have the final product on June 2nd to see, but certainly a very unique course and I think it’ll be an exciting one for our fans.”
“The cool thing about it, we can play with different things.We can add a chicane here or there.”
Looking into the future
For now, the Chicago Street Circuit lives in the digital world. But, the track could come to the NASCAR schedule.
“Kennedy added, As we look at future schedule, certainly we have everything on the table. We look at the 2021 schedule, it’s the most bold and dynamic schedule we’ve seen in over 50 years.”
“As we look toward 2022, our goals and expectations are the same. We want to continue to innovate. We want to protect the historic events like the Daytona 500 but also go to new markets and shake things up.”