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Doonan: “All Options” Still Open for Chicago Street Race

IMSA still working to fill Chicago street race with one of its sanctioned series…

Photo: Jake Galstad

IMSA is continuing to look at “all options” to fill the NASCAR Chicago Street Race weekend with one of its series according to John Doonan, who hasn’t ruled out any of its sanctioned championships at this time despite the release of the majority of its 2023 schedules on Friday.

The inaugural event featuring the NASCAR Cup Series was announced last month to include an IMSA-sanctioned series race on July 1, 2023, in a one-day show.

While an announcement was expected during the ‘State of the Sport’ address at Road America, Chicago was notably absent from the schedule announcements, although Doonan has reaffirmed that discussions are still ongoing.

“We’re looking at all options,” Doonan said. “Obviously it will be a first time event, an event that our NASCAR family is promoting. So we’re looking at all options of what we can slot in there.”

Of the six sanctioned series’ schedules that were announced, there were to-be-announced dates listed in both the new-for-2023 VP Racing SportsCar Challenge and Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, although one of the series is expected to be added to the Lime Rock Park event.

The 2023 schedule for Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands, meanwhile, has yet to be released.

When asked if the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship or Michelin Pilot Challenge could still be in contention for the Chicago event, Doonan wouldn’t completely rule it out although noted the already packed summer schedule for both series.

He said: “Given the fact that the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is the last weekend in June, Chicago is the immediate weekend after. We moved CTMP back. We’ve got a [one-week] gap and then there’s Lime Rock.

“We’ve got to be sensitive to not running the teams and cars and people into the ground. So we’ve got to work on a matrix.

“I think 2023 is a little unique in that regard with so many races in a row.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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