Chicagoland Speedway is a speedway in Joliet, Illinois, USA, southwest of Chicago. The speedway is actually located several miles south of Joliet proper, just off Illinois Route 53 between Joliet and Wilmington, Illinois. It currently has a capacity of 75,000 people. Since its inaugural season in 2001, the Chicagoland Speedway has become an unexpected and significant draw for major NASCAR and IRL events, often selling out major races months in advance.
The speedway itself is known to be one of NASCAR's infamous "cookie cutter" speedways, due to the fact that it resembles many other 1.5 mile downforce racetracks that resemble a D-shape in the NASCAR racing series. Although it may have the stigma of being a "cookie cutter" D-shaped oval, Chicagoland is unique in that it is one continuous curve, as the backstretch has a noticeable bend to it.
Chicagoland hosts the August IndyCar Series Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 and NASCAR Truck Series race that was added as of August 2008, as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (LifeLock.com 400) and Nationwide Series (Dollar General 300) races once a year in July.
From 1999 through 2000, the Chicagoland Speedway was built adjacent to the older Route 66 Raceway. In 2001, Chicagoland hosted their inaugural events, with NASCAR's Busch (Now Nationwide Series) and Winston Cup (which then became NEXTEL Cup Series and now Sprint Cup Series), ARCA RE/MAX Series, and IRL IndyCar Series races making up the initial schedule. These series continue to run at Chicagoland Speedway annually through 2008.
On September 11, 2005, Ryan Briscoe was involved in an enormous crash at Chicagoland Speedway, breaking both clavicles among other injuries. He was released from the hospital on September 19 and following some initial treatment in the USA, moved to the specialist Formula Medicine facility in Viareggio, Italy, for the bulk of his rehabilitation. It took 8 weeks for Briscoe to recover from the injuries he sustained in the crash. His official web site announced his return to the USA on November 14, 2005. Following the incident Ryan was nicknamed "Briscoe Inferno"
On September 25, 2007, speedway officials announced the installation of lights for the 2008 season. With this new addition to the 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval, Chicagoland Speedway will become only the tenth Sprint Cup facility (five each with Speedway Motorsports and ISC tracks) able to hold night racing. The NASCAR race weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in 2008 will feature two night races - the Nationwide Series race on Friday, July 11, followed by the Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 12.
On September 9, 2007, Logan Gomez won his first career Indy Pro Series (now Firestone Indy Lights) race by only .0005 seconds, or three inches over that year's champion Alex Lloyd. This was officially recorded by Guinness World Records as the closest finish in professional motor racing history.
On July 11th, 2008, Chicagoland Speedway held its very first night race, the Nationwide Series' Dollar General 300, which was won by Kyle Busch. The next day, July 12th, the Sprint Cup Series raced under the lights in the Lifelock.com 400, which was also won by Kyle Busch, making him the only driver to win the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races in the same weekend, as well as being the first and only driver so far to win under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway. In August of 2008, it was announced that a NASCAR Truck Series race would be run in 2009, coming from Atlanta Motor Speedway in a 2009 NASCAR Schedule realignment, and would be paired with the IndyCar series race, which will become a Saturday night race that year. The ARCA event will become part of a Friday night package for that season as well.
(miles / km)
(mph / km/h)
|1.500 / 2.414||September 6, 2003||Richie Hearn||0:00:24.521||223.159 / 359.140|
|1.500 / 2.414||September 8, 2002||Buddy Rice||0:00:24.422||224.064 / 360.596|
|300.000 / 482.803||September 10, 2006||Dan Wheldon||1:33:37.266||194.828 / 313.545|
| Qualifying (Fastest Lap of 2)||1.5||July 8, 2005||Jimmie Johnson||0:00:28.701||188.147|
| Race Record (Avg. Speed)||400||July 14, 2002||Kevin Harvick||2:55:37||136.832|
| Qualifying (Fastest Lap of 2)||1.5||July 8, 2005||Ryan Newman||0:00:28.964||186.438|
| Race Record (Avg. Speed)||300||July 14, 2007||Kevin Harvick||135.611|