NASCAR Expected To Announce Race In Crime-Ridden Downtown Chicago – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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NASCAR will soon be heading to Chicago, a city a majority of Americans are trying to avoid like the plague. NASCAR isn’t heading to a track in the suburbs of the deadly Windy City, either, it has plans to host future races in the heart of downtown Chicago.

According to a letter obtained by The Athletic, the city is working with NASCAR to host a first-of-its-kind street course race downtown. The first race would be held in 2023, with two more to follow over the next two years.

Imagining these cars whipping through the streets of downtown Chicago is admittedly awesome. Every F1 or INDYCAR race that’s held in the actual confines of a city is always a cool sight, but Chicago, really?

Bringing NASCAR to a city absolutely ridden with crime seems like a very bold strategy by the racing organization. The expected announcement coming less than a month after Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot was caught on stage shouting “f–k Clarence Thomas“‘ at a Roe v. Wade rally seems rather risky as well.

It’s safe to say that some NASCAR fans don’t exactly respect and agree with Lightfoot’s reaction to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. That’s not a generalization of some NASCAR fans either, that’s a simple fact. Lightfoot may not be the mayor by the time these races roll around, but people don’t forget.

Chicago has been rocked by crime over recent years, specifically homicides.

Going back to 2020, the city reported almost 770 homicides, which was a 50% uptick from the year prior. In 2021, that number rose to over 800, which broke a 25-year record for homicides in Chicago. There were a total of 3,561 reported shootings in the city in 2021 alone.

While the statistics are trending in the right direction in 2022, the city is still on pace to have over 600 homicides by the end of the year.

This past weekend, the city reported that at least eight people were killed and another 18 people were wounded in shootings across Chicago. Over the weekend of July 4th, 71 people were shot and eight were killed.

While shootings and violent crimes are a major issue in Chicago, city police have arrested the fewest number of suspects in at least 20 years.

The city’s letter addressing the upcoming NASCAR races in Chicago was sure to note that they’re committed to executing the event “in a safe and secure manner,” so fear not, NASCAR fans.

Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris

Written by Mark Harris


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