Live from Chicago: All the updates from NASCAR’s street race weekend


Fans watch action from NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race
Caroline Fogle
NASCAR Studios

Welcome to Chicago.

NASCAR is in town and, for the first time in Cup Series history, we will race on a street course. Nestled in the heart of downtown Chicago, the 12-turn, 2.2-mile course in Grant Park hosts both the NASCAR Cup Series (Sunday, 5 p.m. ET, NBC) and the NASCAR Xfinity Series (Saturday, 5 p.m. ET, USA Network).

Cars will zoom down Lake Shore Drive, pass by Buckingham Fountain, jockey for position on Michigan Avenue.

This weekend isn’t just a race, though. It’s an experience as NASCAR embraces the city of Chicago with weekend concerts, a night at Wrigley Field and a Bubba Wallace Block Party event, just to name a few.

We’ll provide live updates throughout this historic weekend, so bookmark this page and come back often.

RELATED: Chicago Street Race 101 | Full weekend schedule

All times listed are Eastern.

Sunday, July 2

11:59 p.m.: This will conclude our live coverage of the Chicago Street Race weekend. It was a weekend of firsts – a new track, new fans, a new winner – and one that we’ll remember for a long time.

Shane van Gisbergen Chicago burnout
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

11:27 p.m.: With post-race inspection complete, the results are official: Shane van Gisbergen is the inaugural Grant Park 220 winner. | Full results

Shane van Gisbergen holds checkered flag
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

11:15 p.m.: There’s a pause in the celebration as Chicago Street Race winner Shane van Gisbergen takes a break to answer media questions. Follow along with Press Pass if that’s your jam.

Shane van Gisbergen in the Chicago media center

10:58 p.m.: As things settle into nightfall, you can check out the complete race results from Chicago.

10:42 p.m.: Think the drivers are ready for more.

10:17 p.m.: This team knows how to party.

10:09 p.m.: Another interesting tidbit as the sun sets in Chicago: Trackhouse owner Justin Marks made a one-off start driving for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series this weekend, and finished dead-last after an engine failure. Now, as a car owner, Marks finds himself in Victory Lane – after Shane van Gisbergen’s No. 91 car finished just ahead of the Justin Haley-piloted Kaulig Racing entry.

9:56 p.m.: What a city. What an event. What a win.

9:48 p.m.: Some interesting firsts and figures as the electric celebration continues in Chicago.

SVG’s win was the first time a driver has won in their Cup Series debut since Johnny Rutherford did it at Daytona in 1963 – that’s 60 years ago. The last win for the No. 91 was by Tim Flock in 1951. And today marked the first win for a Kiwi in NASCAR competition.

Shane van Gisbergen Chicago celebration
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

9:43 p.m.: The celebration continues for Shane van Gisbergen, crew chief Darian Grubb, and team.

Shane van Gisbergen does a burnout at Chicago Street Course

9:32 p.m.: SVG is doing burnouts on Columbus Drive. What a scene.

9:28 p.m.: In his first-ever NASCAR start, three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has just won the inaugural Chicago Street Race in Trackhouse’s Project 91 part-time ride. Wow.

9:25 p.m.: The street lights are turned on in Chicago. White flag for Shane van Gisbergen – final lap.

9:21 p.m.: Don’t write SVG’s name on the trophy just yet – the yellow flag is in the air again with two laps to go. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. landed in the wall after contact with Bubba Wallace, and now we’re headed to NASCAR Overtime. Deep breaths, folks.

9:13 p.m.: Give the top spot to Shane van Gisbergen with five to go. Reminder that the Kiwi is making his NASCAR debut.

9:09 p.m.: Hold onto your hats. As Shane van Gisbergen made his move on Justin Haley for the race lead – much to the cheering of fans – Martin Truex Jr. pounded the tire barrier. Caution’s back out to remove the No. 19. Things are about to get really interesting in the Windy City.

Martin Truex Jr. crash Chicago Street Course

9:02 p.m.: Shane van Gisbergen is up to third place and is closing in fast on leaders Justin Haley and Chase Elliott. SVG’s No. 91 is the fastest car on the track … by a lot. Nine laps remain.

8:59 p.m.: Austin Dillon had the lead within his grasp, but tagged the wall. The No. 3 won’t win today. Justin Haley continues to lead by about a second and a half over Chase Elliott.

Austin Dillon crash Chicago Street Course

8:48 p.m.: Early speed doesn’t guarantee results in NASCAR. The two dominant cars in the opening stages – Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick – suffer back-to-back issues, both separately tagging the tire barrier. Reddick’s 23XI Racing Toyota is lodged in the Turn 6 wall; another caution’s out to extricate the car. Just 16 laps remain in the race.

Tyler Reddick No. 45 stuck in tire barrier

8:30 p.m.: Caution’s out again – there’s a stack-up on Michigan Ave. In a scene straight out of Blues Brothers, a dozen cars piled up after William Byron slid into the tires.

Multi-car crash at Chicago Street Course
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

8:24 p.m.: The race length has been shortened to 75 laps from the originally scheduled 100 with the inevitability of darkness approaching. An unintentional nod to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary?

Much of the field pits under caution to set up their strategies for completing 28 more laps around Grant Park, but a handful stay out. Justin Haley will take over the lead on the restart.

8:15 p.m.: With the No. 48 stopped on track after an engine failure, Stage 2 ends under caution. Christopher Bell nabs his second stage win of the day (and the season).

Christopher Bell leads Kyle Larson at Chicago Street Course
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

8:05 p.m.: The fourth caution of the event has flown when Denny Hamlin sent Alex Bowman into the Turn 11 tires. Bowman’s No. 48 is on pit road with the hood up; he needs strong finishes to remain in playoff contention.

Alex Bowman hood up

7:45 p.m.: Noah Gragson lodged his Chevrolet into the Turn 6 tire barriers … twice, for back-to-back cautions. You’d think with all this rain that Noah would have a better time.

7:35 p.m.: Shane van Gisbergen briefly led a lap in the middle of the pit cycle; he’s settled back into second place for now. It’s quite a moment for the No. 91.

7:25 p.m.: Quick PSA while some exhilarating racing is happening throughout the field: NASCAR Drive offers free live in-car cameras from every car in the field, also in NASCAR Mobile.

Here’s what Jenson Button is seeing out the windshield of his No. 15 car as Stage 2 begins.

In-car view from Jenson Button at Chicago Street Course

7:20 p.m.: Stage 1 is in the books, and it goes to Christopher Bell. That’s a playoff point in the bank for Driver No. 20 (leaderboard). Some drivers are now opting to head to pit road – and as the track is drying out, a few are even opting for slick tires. We’ll see how that works out for them.

Christopher Bell navigates the Chicago Street Course
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

7:00 p.m.: If you’re not tuned into NBC or watching from the streets of Chicago, you’re missing some exciting racing in the opening stage under wet conditions. Christopher Bell takes advantage of a slip-up by leader Tyler Reddick to take over the top spot on Lap 9.

6:50 p.m.: The wet conditions have given the drivers a challenge out of the gate. Within the opening three laps, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski, Noah Gragson, Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin were among those who ran into trouble – but no one more than Kyle Busch, who slid into a tire barrier to draw the race’s first caution.

Tyler Reddick leads.

6:38 p.m.: Denny Hamlin leads the field to green in a single-file, wet-weather start. Catch the action on NBC.

Denny Hamlin leads field to green at Chicago Street Race
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

6:25 p.m.: Cars are rolling off pit road. It’s time to go!

Cars gridded at Chicago Street Course
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

6:15 p.m.: Bears quarterback Justin Fields makes it official with the command to fire engines. We’re going to go racing on the streets of Chicago!

6:00 p.m.: Drivers, to your cars! With lightening rain (don’t worry; I said lightening, not lightning), there’s hope the start of the race is coming up soon.

5:20 p.m.: Things are a bit wet out there, but on pit road they’re having fun with it.

5:00 p.m.: Rain, rain, go away! The start of the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race on the Chicago Street Course is on hold due to persistent rain.

4:45 p.m.: The opening ceremonies are complete, featuring a lovely performance of the national anthem by Uniting Voices Chicago.

Uniting Voices Chicago performs the national anthem at the Chicago Street Race

4:25 p.m.: It’s still rainy in Chicago as teams have rolled their cars out to the grid and crews set up equipment for a hopeful race start at 5 p.m. on NBC. (I also just locked in my Fantasy Live lineup. Saving my two remaining Tyler Reddick starts in favor of Shane van Gisbergen.)

3 p.m.: Next up is the main event, the Grant Park 220, scheduled to begin just after 5 p.m. ET. As a reminder, Denny Hamlin will lead the Cup Series field to the green. Take a look at our guide on what to watch for later today.

1:45 p.m.: Standing water and flooding in Chicago will end The Loop 121 early, and the Xfinity Series cars won’t resume today. Cole Custer is declared the race winner after 25 laps. It’s Custer’s 12th series victory, and he’ll go into the record books as the winner of the first-ever Xfinity Series street race.

Today’s NASCAR Cup Series race is still on schedule to begin at 5 p.m. ET on NBC.

12:15 p.m.: Things are still on hold in terms of on-track activity while the course is cleared of standing water. Drivers are seated in their cars waiting for the good word.

Brennan Poole waits inside his car during a rain hold at Chicago street course (USA Network)

11:30 a.m.: The gates are open, the teams are preparing their cars for liftoff, and a restart is on deck.

11 a.m.: It’s a wet one in Chicago, but that’s what rain tires are for. Cars are now expected to roll off the grid in a half hour or so.

10:05 a.m.: First up, at 11 a.m. ET on USA Network, the Xfinity Series will pick up at where things left off yesterday. Cole Custer’s had command of the race so far with John Hunter Nemechek in second.

And — just saying — the two of them have a bit of history battling door-to-door for wins on road courses. In a 2016 Craftsman Truck Series race at Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Nemechek put the bumper (and then some) to Custer for the win … and Custer responded in the form of a swift takedown that would make a Bears offensive tackle proud.

Cole Custer tackles John Hunter Nemechek at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2016

I don’t want to start anything, but beef that’s seven years old is still beef.

10 a.m.: Good morning! There’s a full day of racing and merriment ahead in Chicago.

Saturday, July 1

8:40 p.m.: What a day — and we’ve got a full plate of Windy City action tomorrow.

Quiet view of Chicago Street Course
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

8:10 p.m.: We’ll pick the racing back up tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET, with coverage on USA Network, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and the NBC Sports App.

Yes, that means two checkered flags will wave Sunday, with the Cup Series’ Grant Park 220 going green at 5 p.m. ET just hours after the conclusion of the Xfinity Series event.

The weather has also forced the cancelation of non-racing festivities, including the post-race concert featuring The Chainsmokers.

7:05 p.m.: The racing action is in weather delay. When we’re back at it, Cole Custer looks to continue his early strong run at the point.

5:45 p.m.: University of Chicago alum Andre Castro’s Xfinity Series debut came to an abrupt end when his Chevrolet landed in the Turn 1 tire barrier.

Andre Castro crash Chicago tire barrier

5:40 p.m.: So far, it’s been the Cole Custer show. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver collects the Stage 1 win after starting from pole position.

Cole Custer leads the field in Chicago
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

5:20 p.m.: It’s a quick end of the day for Justin Marks, who had set the fastest time in practice earlier today. It seems the engine expired on the No. 10 on Lap 4, and the caution is out for cleanup. Time to grab a Chicago-style hot dog, perhaps?

Justin Marks engine smoke

5:06 p.m.: Green flag! The Loop 121 is underway and NASCAR’s officially racing on the streets of Chicago. Names are made in the Xfinity Series – and so is history.

4:55 p.m.: The Tate Brothers deliver that oh-so-important command to fire up those engines. Time to go racing! Follow along on USA Network with our live leaderboard or NASCAR Mobile.

Larenz, Lahmard, and Larron Tate on their way to deliver the command to start engines
Caroline Fogle | NASCAR Studios

4:45 p.m.: Xfinity Series pre-race ceremonies are underway! Roman Banks delivered a beautiful performance of the national anthem.

4:20 p.m.: The Black Crowes are rockin’ the place at the Mobil 1 Stage.

Fans at The Black Crowes performance at NASCAR Chicago Street Race weekend
Austin Matthews | NASCAR Studios
The Black Crowes performance at NASCAR Chicago Street Race weekend
Austin Matthews | NASCAR Studios
The Black Crowes performance at NASCAR Chicago Street Race weekend
Austin Matthews | NASCAR Studios

4:05 p.m.: One hour until the stars of the Xfinity Series hit the streets for The Loop 121 – the first time we’ll see door-to-door racing for position in Chicago. Cole Custer will lead the field to the green (full lineup). Catch the race at 5 p.m. ET on USA Network.

3:55 p.m.: What a tense qualifying shootout! It looked like Shane van Gisbergen might have walked off with the Busch Light Pole Award in his first-ever attempt, but last-second charges by Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin bumped SVG down the chart as time expired.

Hamlin will start from pole position after posting a blazing 88.435-second lap; he’ll go down in history as the first-ever pole winner on a street course in the NASCAR Cup Series. The last-second fast lap was reminiscent of Hamlin’s most recent pole, which came at Sonoma last month when the No. 11 rocketed to the top of the leaderboard as time expired.

Denny Hamlin's No. 11 car in Chicago
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

3:40 p.m.: After some cleanup for a Kevin Harvick crash, 10 drivers have 10 minutes to set a fast time. The 10 who advanced are Daniel Suárez, Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, AJ Allmendinger, Jenson Button, Denny Hamlin, Shane van Gisbergen, Christopher Bell, Michael McDowell and Joey Logano.

3:15 p.m.: Uh oh. Chase Elliott stuffs it in the Turn 8 wall while working on setting a fast qualifying time. Shane van Gisbergen, just ahead of the No. 9 on the track, won’t get to complete his qualifying lap. Elliott’s car was towed back to the pit area once the driver climbed out.

Chase Elliott Chicago qualifying crash

2:45 p.m.: Let’s set this lineup, shall we? The field is split into two group-qualifying sessions that span 15 minutes each. The top five drivers from each session will advance to the final 10-minute round of qualifying, where the inaugural Grant Park 220 Busch Light Pole Award winner will be crowned.

Denny Hamlin leads a group of cars at the Chicago Street Course
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

2:25 p.m.: That’s it for Cup Series practice. Shane van Gisbergen topped the fast-lap charts, fending off Denny Hamlin and Jenson Button. What a trio! And let us again note that this is SVG’s first-ever NASCAR event. Quite the quick learner.

2:05 p.m.: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is the first Cup Series driver to go to a backup car after a practice crash entering Turn 8.

1:50 p.m.: Shane van Gisbergen! The Supercars standout driving in the Project 91 entry for Trackhouse has quickly jumped to the top of the leaderboard in practice. This is his first time racing in NASCAR. We’ll see how the Cup Series regulars respond to the speedy No. 91 as the session continues.

1:35 p.m.: How about we get some Cup Series cars roaring around this place? Practice is on deck; catch it on USA Network.

1:05 p.m.: Cole Custer wins the first-ever pole on a street course in NASCAR! With a lap of 90.421 seconds, he’ll roll off in first place in The Loop 121 when the Xfinity Series takes the green flag just after 5 p.m. ET today. Custer won at Portland International Raceway last month.

1 p.m.: While going for the pole position, Sheldon Creed crashes. Creed had set the second-fastest lap in the final round of qualifying, and now the No. 2 team is likely facing a move to a backup car – and starting at the back of the field.

12:15 p.m.: Time to set the lineup for this afternoon’s Xfinity Series race. The first of two qualifying groups is on track now; the fastest five drivers from each round will advance to a final 10-minute round of hot laps. Quickest lap in the final round earns pole position for this afternoon’s race.

11:50 a.m.: That’ll do it for the lone Xfinity Series practice! Justin Marks set the fastest lap time, going a bit quicker on slick tires in the second half of the session. Qualifying for today’s The Loop 121 happens next.

11:30 a.m.: Xfinity Series practice has slowed for a battery on the course from the No. 92 car – the first break in the action so far. It’s been an intriguing 20 minutes of on-track time, watching drivers translate their iRacing laps and track walks into wheeling around the real thing. Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks, in a rare one-off driving appearance in the Kaulig Racing No. 10 car, has set the fastest time with 15 minutes of practice remaining.

When action resumes, drivers will put on slick tires as the track has dried; we’ll see if Marks’ speedy lap holds up.

Xfinity Series battery on track

11:10 a.m.: No big deal. Just watching stock cars roaring at full song down Columbus Drive.

NASCAR Xfinity Series cars drive down Columbus Drive

11:00 a.m.: This is not a drill. Cars have headed onto the track! Catch Xfinity Series practice on USA Network or follow along with Race Center or NASCAR Mobile. With some raindrops in the sky, the cars are racing with wet-weather considerations; you’ll notice flashing red lights on the cars and treaded rain tires.

10:45 a.m.: Some lovely finishing touches. Darius Dennis, folks.

Graffiti wall by artist Darius Dennis
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

9:30 a.m.: Morning! There’s racing in Chicago today. The NASCAR Xfinity Series cars take to the street at 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. local time) for practice and qualifying, airing on USA Network. It’ll be the first time we’ll see stock cars making laps at full speed on this beautiful course.

Morning shot of Chicago street course

Friday, June 30

11 p.m.: Can you believe we’ll have cars on track (well, on the street) when the sun comes up tomorrow morning? We’ll leave you on this Friday night with some evening reading on how the Chicago street course came together and what drivers are expecting (hint: a lot of the unexpected).

5:30 p.m.: Here’s “The Bowman” … twice. A bus tour of the track provided quite the view of this statue, which is called “The Bowman.” Moments later, the driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Ally Chevrolet popped into view.

Zack Albert | NASCAR Studios
Zack Albert | NASCAR Studios

4:45 p.m.: Cars take to the track for the first time tomorrow. For now, drivers and teams are walking the course to get the lay of the land. (We’ve also got a turn-by-turn guide and a video tour if you want to follow along.)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson walk the Chicago street course
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

2:00 p.m.: Teams are unloading their NASCAR Xfinity Series cars … on Lake Shore Drive.

12:15 p.m.: A beautiful sight, don’t you think?

23XI hauler under the Chicago skyline
Zack Albert | NASCAR Studios

11:30 a.m.: Here come the haulers! Race cars have entered the building. And by the building, I mean the track area. It’s really happening.

Thursday, June 29

9:45 p.m.: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads a singing-driver trio with Harrison Burton and John Hunter Nemechek in baseball’s classic “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Nailed it, fellas. The Cubs, though, would go on to lose 3-1, despite Stenhouse’s request to score some more runs.

8:10 p.m.: John Hunter Nemechek starts off the Cubs game with the first pitch. Play ball!

John Hunter Nemechek throws out an opening pitch
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Studios

7:45 p.m.: It’s NASCAR Night at Wrigley Field! The Philadelphia Phillies are in town to play the Chicago Cubs amidst plenty of NASCAR-themed fanfare.

Tyler Reddick's No. 45 23XI Racing show car outside Wrigley Field
Zack Albert | NASCAR Studios
Wrigley Field NASCAR Night sign board
Zack Albert | NASCAR Studios

2 p.m.: Getting those finishing touches in place.

Wednesday, June 28

8 p.m.: How to be the coolest kid on the block? Attend Bubba’s Block Party. Several thousand did just that, taking in time with Bubba, listening to Lupe Fiasco, watching live pit stops and playing on iRacing simulators. All at the historic DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, too.

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Tuesday, June 27

8 p.m.: At Navy Pier, fans and stars of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series took it to the virtual #NASCARChicago streets. This weekend, it’s the real deal.

Monday, June 26

8:08 p.m.: How about a little track walk? The on-track action is five days away, but the course is really coming into shape. And how about that famous skyline as the backdrop?

RELATED: Chicago Street Race 101 | Full weekend schedule

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