NASCAR explains call to shorten Chicago Street Race

Multiple teams were frustrated with the call

NASCAR visited the streets of Chicago over the weekend. The race made history becoming the first ever street race in the 75 year history of NASCAR.

The world tuned in as tv ratings turned massive numbers for the event. However, record rains caused delays in the event and NASCAR was forced to shorten the race. And that call was made, during the race.

Christopher Bell drove off to the win in stage one. He then grabbed the stage two win. However, just before the halfway point, NASCAR made the call to shorten the race from 100 laps to just 75.

Drivers who pitted on the caution periods prior, cycled to the lead with slightly used tires. Shortening the race, made it so the cars that still needed to pit had 25 less laps to try and climb back through the field.

Christopher Bell’s crew chief Adam Stevens came over the #20 team radio after the call, “Well, there it is, they fucked us.”

On the other side, Shane van Gisbergen was one of the drivers caught out by the call to shorten the race. However, he still drove his machine from 18th on the restart to the race win.

2nd and 3rd place runners were of the cars that gained an advantage from the shorter races. Both Justin Haley and Chase Elliott pitted just before the call to shorten the race was made.

The call to shorten the race was made due to darkness and a lack of track lights.

NASCAR explains the call

“We would have preferred to have made the call on lap 5 or lap 10. That just wasn’t possible due to the fact that we didn’t have lap times or the data and information to make that decision,” Elton Sawyer stated via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

“As we got closer to that — What we did not want to do was be in the middle a fuel mileage situation. We didn’t want to drive the teams to come up short on fuel. We as a sanctioning body wanted to stay out of that.”

“When we made the decision at lap 45 or 46, in that area. It gave every team the opportunity to pit, knowing the were on a 39-40 lap fuel window.”

“The teams that pitted on lap 46, Shane and that team pitted on lap 46, they were able to win the race.”

“We had a couple teams that we explained that to, after the race. Didn’t expect them to be any happier with that but at least we explained it from the league’s perspective, of what we had to do at that time.”

Chicago Results: July 2, 2023 (NASCAR Cup Series)