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JUL 2, 2024 | Ford Performance Staff

What you need to know about the Chicago Street Race

Burton Mustang on the track

CHICAGO, Ill. - The streets of Chicago will be filled with sights and sounds of stock cars making left and right-hand turns as the NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Xfinity Series visits the city for a second straight year. Weather dominated last year’s inaugural event, which included Ford’s Cole Custer winning the rain-shortened The Loop 121.

The Schedule

  • Saturday, July 6 -- NASCAR Xfinity Series, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Sunday, July 7 -- NASCAR Cup Series, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

UP TO SPEED

LOGANO CLINCHES PLAYOFF BERTH
Joey Logano’s dramatic victory on Sunday at Nashville Superspeedway, in which he went the final 110 laps without pitting and survived five overtimes, was Ford’s fifth win in the last eight weeks. Logano, who captured the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in May, joins Team Penske teammates Austin Cindric and defending Cup champion Ryan Blaney in the playoffs, along with RFK’s Brad Keselowski.

 

CLIMBING THE FORD WIN LIST
Logano’s victory was the 33rd of his NASCAR Cup Series career and 31st with Ford, which is fourth on the all-time Blue Oval win list. The only three drivers ahead of him are Ned Jarrett (43), Bill Elliott (40) and Mark Martin (35).

ALL-TIME FORD WIN LIST (TOP 5)
Ned Jarrett (43)
Bill Elliott (40)
Mark Martin (35)
Joey Logano (31)
Dale Jarrett (30)

CLOSING IN ON 100
In addition to being fourth on Ford’s all-time win list, Logano has also won more races for Team Penske with Ford than any other driver. His win on Sunday marked the organization's 96th with the manufacturer. Rusty Wallace scored the first win when he won at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC, in 1994. Team Penske won 27 races from 1994-2002 and then returned to Ford in 2013 with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Since then, they’ve added a third car with Ryan Blaney and have won 69 times. Seven different drivers have won at least one race with Team Penske and Ford with Logano leading the way (31).

TEAM PENSKE ALL-TIME FORD WINNERS
Joey Logano (31)
Brad Keselowski (26)
Rusty Wallace (23)
Ryan Blaney (10)
Jeremy Mayfield (3)
Austin Cindric (2)
Ryan Newman (1)

THEY SAID IT

RYAN BLANEY:
“I am looking forward to Chicago. I’m looking forward to hopefully having good weather that weekend. It can’t get much worse than what it was last year. That city deserves it. I feel like the hype around that race last year was through the roof and the amount of people that still came even though the weather was what it was, I think if it all goes good this year weather-wise it’s just gonna be an absolute spectacle to see, so I’m excited to go back.”

 

MICHAEL MCDOWELL:
“Chicago was a lot of fun and really cool. I think they did a great job with the track. It’s fun to drive and challenging. There are different types of corners that some are off camber and some aren’t, plus you’re driving on a street course that is not shaped for race cars. They’re shaped for street cars and to have water shed off of it, so there’s some tricky areas for sure, but I thought they did a great job with the design. It’s fun to drive and you’ve got a cool back setting there. The rain made it challenging, but I feel like overall the weekend was really good.”

 

TODD GILLILAND:
“I think there’s still a lot of notes that we can look back on, whether it’s the dry practice and dry qualifying, stuff you’ve seen on other cars and how it reacts, stuff you want to achieve going back, I don’t know that it’s usually that easy, but I still think there’s some worth in the notes from last year, for sure, just as far as everyone went there with their best guess and then you’re gonna see the window of setups probably cut in half every single time we go back to a place like that. I think that’s the biggest thing is you’ll probably see guys be a lot closer.”

A LOOK BACK

SOLDIER FIELD CUP HISTORY
NASCAR hosted one Cup Series race inside historic Soldier Field on July 21, 1956. The 200-lap race was held on a half-mile track and Fireball Roberts led a Ford Motor Company sweep of the top three positions as only five cars finished on the lead lap. Roberts drove to victory in a ‘56 Ford while Jim Paschal was second in a ‘56 Mercury and Ralph Moody third in a ‘56 Ford. Both Roberts and Moody were driving for owner Pete DePaolo, winner of the 1925 Indianapolis 500, as part of Ford’s first full season of factory-backed stock car racing. The end result that season was 14 series victories and Ford’s first manufacturers’ championship.

SOLDIER FIELD CONVERTIBLE HISTORY
In addition to the Cup Series race, NASCAR also held three convertible races at Soldier Field – two in 1956 and one more in 1957. NASCAR Hall of Famers Curtis Turner and Glen Wood both drove their respective ‘56 Fords to victory during that time. Turner, driving for DePaolo, led a race-high 329-of-500 laps while teammate Joe Weatherly led the other 171 circuits to give Ford a 1-2 finish on Sept. 9, 1956. Wood beat Possum Jones on June 29, 1957 as those were the only two drivers to take the checkered flag on the lead lap.

CUSTER GOING FOR REPEAT
Cole Custer became the first NASCAR driver to win on the streets of Chicago when he captured the rain-shortened The Loop 121 last year. Custer started on the pole and led all 25 laps before rain and standing water forced the race to be called three laps before the scheduled 55-lapper would have been official. The win was Custer’s second of the season and second straight on a road/street course after taking the race in Portland a few weeks earlier.

PAST WINNERS

FORD’S NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT CHICAGO
2023 -- Cole Custer