Latest from Chicagoland Speedway: 400


NASCAR Foundation Walk.

More than 200 people walked one lap around the 1.5-mile D-shaped tri-oval of Chicagoland Speedway Saturday morning with the NASCAR Foundation to benefit Chicago-based Feeding America and the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Most stopped at the start-finish line for photo opportunities. Overheard: Yes, it was early (an 8 a.m. start time), but it was completely worth it.

We Back the Bid.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee will serve as Honorary Starter for the marquee event of the weekend, the 400. In inviting Joyner-Kersee, Chicagoland Speedway shows that it backs Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. Joyner-Kersee, a St. Louis native, is a three-time Gold medalist. She also has one Silver and two Bronze to her credit. She has participated in four Olympic Games, including Los Angeles (1984), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996).

Live from Chicagoland Speedway: Jimmy Fallon.

The words fans at the 400 will be waiting for from Jimmy Fallon will be the most famous phrase in racing – “Gentlemen, start your engines!” Fallon, host of NBC’s new “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” will come to you live from Chicagoland Speedway as Grand Marshal of the event.  In addition to declaring the most famous phrase in racing, the former Saturday Night Live cast member will also ride in the Grand Marshal car in front of the Pace Car, which leads the field of NASCAR drivers onto the track for the start of the race.

National Anthem Singer, Jessie James.

Jessie James, a 21 year-old combination of throw-back rocker and pop diva, will sing the National Anthem before the 400 at Chicagoland Speedway July 11. James, who recently finished a tour with The Jonas Brothers, is a “big talent in a petite, power-packed package,” according to Mercury Records. She’s on a mission to be “wonderful” – in a way that shows you can be a rebel and a lady, too. Jessie’s self-titled debut album will be released August 11th.


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