Joliet primed for weekend NASCAR events
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org September 11, 2013 8:16PM
The NASCAR hauler parade led by the Chicagolabd Speedway Pace Car and last year's winner and NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart cross the Jefferson Street bridge into downtown Joliet. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
NASCAR TRIPLEHEADER WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Parking lots open, 7 a.m.
EnjoyIllinois.com 225 (Camping World Truck Series) practice, 9-10:30 a.m.
EnjoyIllinois.com 225 final practice, 11-11:50 a.m.
GEICO 400 (Sprint Cup
Series) practice, noon-1:30 p.m.
Dollar General 300 (Nationwide Series) practice,
EnjoyIllinois.com 225 qualifying, 3:05 p.m.
GEICO 400 qualifying,
4:10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Dollar General 300 final practice, 5:35-6:50 p.m.
7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports1)
Parking lots open, 7 a.m.
GEICO 400 practice,
Dollar General 300 qualifying, 11:05 a.m. (Fox Sports2)
GEICO 400 final practice, 1-1:50 p.m. (Fox Sports2)
Dollar General 300,
2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Early bird parking opens,
Other parking opens, 7 a.m.
Grandstands open, 9 a.m.
Brantley Gilbert pre-race concert, 11:10 a.m.
GEICO 400 driver introductions, 12:20
GEICO 400, 1 p.m.(ESPN, 95.9 FM, 98.3 FM)
Tickets: Call (888) 629-RACE (7223). Parking at the track is free.
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:57AM
The Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet is hosting its biggest event of the year, when NASCAR rolls into town for three races this weekend including the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship — Sunday’s GEICO 400.
The Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide and Sprint Cup series will all feature their top drivers at the Speedway this weekend.
The EnjoyIllinois.com 225 truck race Friday will be the only race under the lights and will start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s Dollar General 300 is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start and the premier event — Sunday’s GEICO 400 — will begin at 1 p.m.
Fans heading out to the Speedway should keep several things in mind when planning their trip, especially with two major construction projects in the area.
Because of construction on Interstate 55 on the Des Plaines River bridge, fans are encouraged to exit at River Road and take that to Route 53 and to the Speedway.
There is also a bridge construction project on Manhattan-Arsenal Road. Fans should follow detour signs in the area if the project is not finished by race weekend.
Fans taking the Metra Rock Island Line to Sunday’s GEICO 400 can purchase shuttle tickets as part of the Speedway’s Train-to-Track program. The service will give fans shuttle transportation from Joliet’s Union Station to the Speedway and back.
Tickets for the Train-to-Track shuttle are $3 per person, one-way ($6 round trip) and can be purchased by calling the Speedway’s administrative office at (815) 722-5500 during business hours.
Shuttles will leave Joliet’s Union Station Sunday for the track at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Buses will depart the Speedway for Union Station at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., regardless of whether or not the GEICO 400 is over.
The weekend officially kicks off with the Speedway’s hauler parade Thursday in downtown Joliet.
The NASCAR Haulers will be parked at Hollywood Casino at 4 p.m. and the parade begins at 5. While the haulers are parked, fans can take pictures of the 72-foot long trucks before the parade.
The parade route will travel east on Jefferson and make a left on Scott Street. The Speedway’s pace car and fire safety vehicles will lead the parade north on Scott Street, before making a left onto Jackson, and then a left on Ottawa to head south to the Speedway.
The Speedway is encouraging fans to watch the parade at designated areas along the route: Hollywood Casino, McBrody’s Bar and Grill, the Joliet Historical Museum and the Joliet Public Library.
Campers who are already at the Speedway will be able to view the haulers from the Gate 5 reserved parking lot. The parade is scheduled to end at the Speedway at 6 p.m., but the reserved lot is not open to the public.
The parade is part of the Speedway’s Race Fan Rally, which concludes at 10 p.m.
For fans willing to do some travelling, drivers will be at personal appearances throughout the Chicago area Thursday.
The 12 drivers who are eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship will be at NASCAR Contenders Live from 1:30-3 p.m. Thursday at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom. Fans can interact with the Chase drivers and NASCAR president Mike Helton during a question and answer session.
Fans can purchase tickets for Contenders Live for $10 by going to www.NASCAR.com/contenderslive.
Trevor Bayne, the youngest winner ever of the Daytona 500, will be at the Bartlett Sherwin-Williams store, 799 S. Route 59 from 1-4 on Thursday. The No. 16 Ford Fusion car will also be at the appearance.
For tickets to the EnjoyIllinois.com 225, Dollar General 300 and the GEICO 400, call (888) 629- 7223. Parking at the track is free.