Chicagoland Speedway is a racetrack located in the middle of the Chicago suburbs. It is named after W. J. “Bill” Elliott, who was the founder of the track and a popular driver in the 1800s. Back in those days, people used to come from all over the place to see the famous Bill Elliott Races, which were always a real treat because of the huge crowd that would show up at the track. The racetrack began hosting its first official race back in 1909, and it wasn’t until 1914 that the first official NASCAR race was held there. The first race that featured automobiles was a one-mile event that was held in a large field at the southern part of the track. The tradition of having stock car races at the track continued well into the 20th century. From 1914 to 1953, the track was open to the public for free, but after that point tickets had to be purchased in advance.
NASCAR vs. The City
Although public transportation to and from the Chicagoland Speedway is available, the majority of the attendees at the track’s races still have to rely on their own vehicles. This is mainly because the track’s parking lot doesn’t allow certain cars, such as those manufactured before 1975, to be parked there. That means that those who want to attend one of the track’s races need to find a parking spot in one of the many lots located nearby or pay for parking at the track. The organizers of the track are aware of this and have expressed concern that the lack of parking may hurt the race’s attendance figures. Therefore, in the 2009 season, a special “Parking Allowed” sticker was made that endorsed drivers were allowed to put on their cars so that they would be allowed to park in the designated spaces.
The Track’s Layout
The track’s layout is actually quite unique in that it features two separate straightaways that meet at a slight, ninety-degree angle. One of the straightaways is nine miles long, while the other is eight miles long. This is called the Tri-oval and it was designed to make for a really interesting racing experience. When drivers are approaching the front of the track, they immediately have to hit the brakes because of the enormous bank that the track takes on. This bank is one of the reasons why the track is so popular; it provides an extremely unique element of danger that can only be felt by participating in a race there.
The Track’s History
The track’s history is largely linked to the history of NASCAR itself. Starting in the early 1900s, stock car racing was at its peak, and tracks such as Daytona and Talladega were attracting large audiences of people who just wanted to watch the cars go around in circles. Then, in the early 1960s, things began to change. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, and many tracks, including the one in Illinois, were looking for a way to prevent African Americans from attending their events. In the face of desegregating the sport, tracks had to scramble to find a way to remain open. One way that they did this was by banning African American drivers and cars from their events. This is why, since its inception, the track has primarily been associated with white males. However, this is slowly changing as more and more people are recognizing the significance of this part of the country’s history.
Other Attractions At The Track
There are many other attractions at the track that are not related to racing at all. For example, the museum at the track is an absolute must for any fan of automobiles. It is located in the old guard house and it is filled with more than sixty automobile exhibits that cover everything from the early days of the automobile all the way up to contemporary models. The biggest draw there is mostly the Hall of Fame section, where you can find the actual wall that divides the racing fanatics from the general public. NASCAR fans get extremely excited when they see these walls because it is a sign that the sport they love is still alive and well. The whole place is something to look at, a real tribute to the golden age of car racing.
On the other side of the museum is the Hall of Champions. This is where the track’s administrators have stored all the memorabilia and trophies from its races. To get there, you have to walk through a long corridor that houses a number of famous racing drivers’ portraits. The further you walk, the more trophies and memorabilia you will see on the walls. At the end of the corridor is a large trophy case, and it is a real testament to how this place is filled with racing goodness.
Where To Eat And Stay At The Track
There are a number of restaurants and eateries near the track that serve all kinds of food. You will certainly find something that suits your taste buds. However, if you are looking for a place to stay, the track has a number of hotels that offer a pleasant stay at an affordable price. This is mainly because not many people knew this place existed, let alone that it was near Chicago. Therefore, the track hasn’t always been a popular place for tourists to stay but, with all the interesting stuff that it has to offer, this may change.
The Future Of The Track
The track’s future is somewhat uncertain at this point. On the one hand, it has a state subsidy that helps it keep its lights on and keeps the food prices low. On the other hand, the lot size limits the number of cars that visitors can bring to the track. It also doesn’t allow certain cars to be there, mainly because they were manufactured prior to 1975 and don’t have air conditioning. These are all things that the track has to deal with. However, it still draws a large crowd of people who want to experience a real-life version of something that they saw in a movie or on TV. The track’s administrators are trying to be as open as they can about these issues and would like to have a conversation with anyone who is interested. At the end of the day, they want to keep the sport alive. This is why they started a GoFundMe page so that people who want to help out can do so. While the motivation may be noble, the track’s administration needs all the help that they can get financially due to the ever-increasing costs that they have to deal with. Hopefully, these funds will help.