It was a sunny day at Chicagoland Speedway as Joliet Mayor Arthur Schultz cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the $130 million Chicagoland Speedway racing facility in Joliet. Founder?s P.A.S.S. Members watched with smiles as they wandered the grandstands and met their personalized seats, then visited the infield for a day of music, food and of course? racing. An estimated crowd of 6,000 people participated in ?Meet Your Seat Day? at Chicagoland Speedway. ?This is an unbelievable facility and we are thrilled to have it in Joliet. The citizens of Joliet, as well as the members of the city council are proud of the facility. We wish the speedway all the success. Anyone who wants to come and see a race, this is definitely the place to come,? said Joliet Mayor Arthur Schultz. ?It was incredible to see and hear the excitement in the fan?s voices as they had a chance to sit in their seats and see the facility for the first time," said Joie Chitwood, vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway. Diane Keay and her two children, Christofer and Katrena, traveled all the way from Gilbert, Arizona to be a part of today?s historic grand opening. ?We are really excited about coming here today and can?t wait to come back for the races,? said Keay. Fans were lining up and tailgating in the parking lot as the sun came up early Saturday morning. Singers Charlie Love and Bobbi Slim James brought their Chicago blues bands with them to entertain guests in one of the Winston Cup garages. Other areas of interest were the ?Ask the Expert? sessions, viewings of the famed Daytona 500 Documentary Movie and the model car racing arena. Die-Cast cars, and other inaugural season merchandise items were for sale as well as Richard Petty Driving Experience Ride-A-Longs. Fifty lucky fans were drawn from a raffle to win free Richard Petty ride-a-longs in Winston Cup style stock cars. Participants rode shotgun around the 1.5-mile D-shaped tri-oval speedway in speeds reaching 150 mph. The Hills Bros Coffee 300, NASCAR Busch Series on July 14, and the Tropicana 400, NASCAR Winston Cup Series on July 15 are only three weeks away. There are a still a small amount of tickets left. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can call 815-727-RACE, but like the action at Chicagoland Speedway, they?re going fast.
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