When the green flag drops at Chicagoland Speedway next year, it will usher in a new era of high-speed, exciting racing on the high-banked tri-oval, bringing the stars of the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series, Indy Racing Northern Light Series and NASCAR Winston Cup Series to town. The Chicagoland Speedway will offer two key race event weekends initially featuring three top racing series. Once dates of the actual events are awarded, the final schedule will be announced. Chicagoland Speedway action will feature: NASCAR Winston Cup Series ? The granddaddy of all motorsports series, NASCAR Winston Cup has become the most popular spectator sport. The series, with 35 races each season, features 43 of the top drivers racing Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix stock cars. The cars, which have 800 horsepower engines, run at speeds of more than 170 miles-per-hour. Last year, NASCAR Winston Cup events attracted more than 3.5 million fans. NASCAR last raced in Chicago in 1957 at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. Indy Racing Northern Light Series ? The stars of open-wheel racing and the legendary Indianapolis 500 will bring their 220 mile-per-hour Indy cars to Joliet next summer. Indianapolis 500 winners Al Unser Jr. and Eddie Cheever Jr., along with 1999 series? champ Greg Ray headline the series, which will run in Chicago for the very first time. The series is America?s premiere open-wheel auto racing series. Made famous by the Indianapolis 500, the Indy Racing Series features open-wheel, open-cockpit race cars with normally aspirated V8 engines that race at more than 220 miles per hour. NASCAR Busch Grand National Series ? The series features the future stars of stock car racing and the seasoned veterans who enjoy the competition. With 32 races per year, the NASCAR Busch Grand National series attracts some hundred thousand fans for each event. Stars of the series include Mark Martin, Adam Petty, Randy LaJoie and Matt Kenseth. The Busch Series features modified stock cars with 358 cubic-inch. V-8 engines equipped with a four-barrel carburetor and race at more than 120 miles-per-hour. Last year, some 2.3 million fans attended Busch Series races. ?We are thrilled to be hosting the top series in both stock car and open wheel racing,? said Joie Chitwood III, general manager of the Chicagoland Speedway. ?With the combination of Indy Racing, the Busch Series and Winston Cup, we have a tremendous lineup for sports fans throughout the region. We look forward to working NASCAR and the Indy Racing League to put on three great races that are fun for our fans and safe and exciting for our drivers.? Limited quantities of tickets are available for the best seats in grandstand through the Founders P.A.S.S. program. Founders P.A.S.S. are available for $500, $750 and $1,500 beginning on May 11 and provide ticketholders a 30-year option to purchase season tickets for their selected seats. Interested fans can purchase their Founders P.A.S.S. by calling (815)727-RACE or visiting the Route 66 Raceway box office. General season tickets will go on sale in the Fall of 2000. The Chicagoland Speedway is owned by Raceway Associates, LLC, which is made up of the combined interests of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation (IMS), the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and the former owners of Route 66 Raceway, LLC. The track is located adjacent to the existing Route 66 Raceway, which opened in 1998 and will be part of the motorsports park. Route 66 includes a state-of-the-art drag strip, 3/8-mile clay oval and road-course test track, with stadium seating for 30,000 fans. It hosts the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Prestone Route 66 Nationals, which features Top Fuel, Funny Cars, Pro Stocks, trucks and motorcycle racing.
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