Add Chicago streets to NASCAR’s list of odd race places Front Row Motorsports Cup teams to have new crew chiefs in 2023 NASCAR Power Rankings: Playing the name game Chicago: Making NASCAR work in the big city Fighting knights? Pie in the sky? They’re on the NASCAR menu

- Advertisement -

Next summer, NASCAR will make more than a splash of history when its race cars compete on a 2.2-mile track carved into the streets of Chicago, one of the nation’s largest cities.

It can be spectacular. It may not be. But it will definitely be weird.

- Advertisement -

While other race series have been held downtown, the weekend of July 1-2 will mark a dramatic departure from the norm for NASCAR. With more than six months before the high-profile race cars take to the streets of Chicago, the very fact that the race will take place has apparently sparked interest in NASCAR from other major cities. There are also rumors about New York, where, perhaps, very talented Manhattan taxi drivers could take part in the preliminary event.

MORE: Five laps that influenced the Cup season

- Advertisement -

As strange and quirky as the street race in Chicago is, it won’t be the first time NASCAR has taken its drivers into the completely unknown.

- Advertisement -

Check out other unusual racing locations:

Soldier Field, Chicago — Yes, NASCAR has a past in the Windy City. In 1956, the cup race was held on a half-mile-long paved oval (more or less) inside the home of the Chicago Bears. Fireball Roberts won.

Kitsap County Airport, Bremerton, Washington. – In 1957, Parnelli Jones won the cup car on the 0.9-mile highway on the airport grounds. A total of 14 vehicles were entered. Today, NASCAR is hungry for the Northwest market.

McCormick Field, Asheville, North Carolina – NASCAR built a quarter-mile track at the Asheville baseball field, and Jim Paschal won the checkered flag in the 1958 race. Nobody left the park.

Daytona Beach Roadway, Daytona Beach, Florida. – Without a doubt the strangest (and one of the most famous) race tracks in NASCAR history, the Beach Road track tested drivers on a track that was half ocean sand and half two-lane tarmac. Legends were made there as drivers tore through the sand of two corners and tried to avoid other cars, seagulls and the oncoming tide.

MORE: Pigs running? Pie in the sky? Check out NASCAR add-ons

Augusta International Speedway, Augusta, Georgia. They play a big golf tournament there, don’t they? It turns out they also raced in Augusta – on a 3-mile track in 1963. Fireball Roberts won the race, which was stopped at 139 laps (out of a planned 170) due to the oncoming darkness.

Linden Airport, Linden, New Jersey – In the 1950s, temporary tracks connecting sections of airport runways were quite popular. Al Keller (he drove a Jaguar, by the way!) won in 1954 at the 2-mile track in Linden.

Both Front Row Motorsports Cup teams will receive new crew chiefs in 2023, Team Wednesay has announced.

Travis Peterson will be the crew leader of car number 34, which was driven by Michael McDowell. Peterson will replace Blake Harris, who will take over as crew chief for Alex Bowman at Hendrick Motorsports in 2023.

31-year-old Peterson worked as a race engineer. He spent the last five seasons with Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. He worked with drivers Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth at the time. Peterson previously worked as a race engineer for Hendrick Motorsports. Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well as JR Motorsports.

“I think there are a lot of people in the NASCAR garage who are noticing what Front Row Motorsports has accomplished with the new car and their truck program,” Peterson said in a team statement.

“This is an opportunity to enter a winning and champion organization and help take the next step to get more Cup Series wins and reach the playoffs. I’m ready to get to work. It has always been my goal to become a crew chief and now I am ready to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Front Row Motorsports also announced on Wednesday that Seth Barbour, who was crew chief of the No. 38 he was driving Todd Gillilandwas appointed the technical director of the organization. Barbour will oversee all track design and vehicle preparation for the Front Row Motorsports Cup cars.

The new crew leader of Team 38 will be announced at a later date.

In addition, Ryan Bergenti, Team Car Principal No. 34, has been named Director of Performance and will oversee body and chassis assembly for all Front Row Motorsports members.

“The last two seasons of Front Row Motorsports have been successful and we are taking the next steps forward,” said Jerry Freese, general manager of Front Row Motorsports.

“We know that Travis is the kind of person who can jump right in, pick up the baton and continue to move the #34 team forward. We’ve also made some internal changes to help with the preparation and design of all of our race cars and trucks. Our last part is finding a new leader for Team 38. We are confident that with these changes next season we will be even better.”

Front Row Motorsports has not announced its driver line-up for next season. Both McDowell and Gilliland have said they plan to return to the organization.

In 75 years of racing, NASCAR’s results lists have included some of the sport’s most unusual names.

Some of these were nicknames that became everyday names for drivers. Other unusual names came straight from the birth certificate.

Here are the top 10 most grandiose:

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Ranking

1. Fireball Roberts – There will never be a better serial racing title, although, oddly enough, it had nothing to do with cars and tracks. Roberts’ real name was Glenn, but he picked Fireball as a baseball pitcher. This worked well for racing as he became NASCAR’s first national superstar.

2. Lake Speed — With a name like that, you have to be a racer. Maybe a boat racer would be more appropriate, but still. … Speed ​​raced the Cup for 20 years, scoring a single victory. He beat Alan Kulwicki and Davey Ellison in the spring race at Darlington in 1988.

3. Ku Ku Marlin “His name was Clifton. Nobody called him that. Perhaps better known as the father of Sterling Marlin, Koo Koo was a semi-regular Cup player in the 1960s and 1970s. He made 165 starts without a win.

MORE: Pigs running? Pie in the sky? Check out these NASCAR add-ons

4. Crayfish Crider – Supposedly got the nickname when he threw his racing car into the water. Has the meaning. Kreider played in the Cup from 1959 to 1965, making 232 starts without a win. His journey included starts in 59 of the 62 races on the 1964 schedule.

5. Phagan Frog — He jumped into NASCAR from Canada. Ran 20 races in the 1960s and 70s.

6. Burrhead Nantz – Drove three races in 1960 and returned home to Mooresville, North Carolina. Real name: Homer.

7. Dick Trickle With a name like that, you have to be tough. He was. A short track horror in the Midwest, Trickle won hundreds of races but failed to score in the Cup in 303 starts from 1970 to 2002. He became Cup Rookie of the Year in 1989 at the age of 48. And no one in the sport smoked more than Marlboro.

MORE: Five laps that influenced the Cup season

8. Speedy Thompson “Obviously he was fast. Twenty cup victories (eight in 1956). Finished third in cup points for four consecutive seasons (1956-59).

9. Black Steptoe Just because it’s a great name. Georgia driver who competed in five Cup races in the mid-1950s.

10 Joko Majacomo “When your name is Chauncey, a good nickname is almost a must. Made 23 Cup starts in 11 seasons in the 1970s and 80s.

Honorable Mentions: Possum Jones, Banjo Matthews, Soap Castles, Dick Passwater, Gobert Sauceby, Jesse James Taylor, numerous drivers named Chase (including Chase Elliott, Chase Briscoe and Mike Chase).


- Advertisement -