When NASCAR announced last July that it would be adding the Chicago Street Race to the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, everyone pretty much already assumed it was going to be a massive spectacle. A full-on stock car race at the Chicago Street Course on Fourth of July weekend? That was bound to attract some eyeballs and generate some massive excitement. Now, it's looking like that when NASCAR heads to the Windy City in July, it won't just be for a weekend of racing. They're treating fans to a mini musical festival, as well.
On January 25, NASCAR officially announced that Grammy Award-winning EDM-pop duo The Chainsmokers and Grammy-winning country artist Miranda Lambert will headline full-length concerts ahead of the Chicago Cup race, while longtime rock band The Black Crowes and up-and-coming blues and country star Charley Crockett will also perform.
"The Chicago Street Race is truly a first-of-its-kind two-day sports and entertainment event in the 75-year history of NASCAR," Chicago Street Race President Julie Giese said in an official statement. "We are proud to welcome superstars The Chainsmokers, Miranda Lambert, The Black Crowes, and Charley Crockett as we reimagine the NASCAR experience in the heart of downtown Chicago over Fourth of July weekend."
— NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend (@NASCARChicago) January 25, 2023
The fun all starts on Saturday, July 1, with Xfinity Series and Cup Series practice and qualifying. Then, The Black Crowes, an Atlanta, Georgia-based band who have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, will take the stage. After that is the Xfinity race, followed by a full-length concert from The Chainsmokers, whose hit "Don't Let Me Down" won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
On Sunday, San Benito, Texas native Charley Crockett will open for Miranda Lambert, whose nine studio albums have earned her nearly 80 awards over the years. The festivities all end with the Cup race, which will also be the first-ever Cup race held on a street course.
Now, NASCAR is clearly trying something new with the Chicago Street Race by seemingly courting the Formula One crowd. Diehard fans seem pretty torn about whether to get excited about the race itself. That'll happen whenever you introduce something different to a sport that has a deep history like NASCAR. But, there's no denying that the auto sanctioning body is pulling out all the stops to make the weekend in Chicago something that everyone will be talking about.
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