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RCR Prepares for Street Circuit Through Heart of Chicago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 30, 2023) – NASCAR is trading its traditional speedways and road courses for a street circuit in the heart of Chicago. For the first time in history,  NASCAR will weave its way through the third largest city in the United States. The 2.2-mile course surrounds Grant Park where temporary fences and grandstands line the streets for fans.

While the weekend will certainly serve as a historic moment in sports history, it doesn’t come without a unique challenge for the drivers and teams. Crew chief Keith Rodden and car chief Ryan Chism of the No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet team have spent months putting in work for this unique race considering the many obstacles they may face. “We will have to raise the car  because the track is just not as smooth. We’re going to be dragging a lot but we know that’s what we have to work with and will be prepared for anything that comes our way,” said Chism.

Being built in the heart of a major city, the 12 turn course couldn’t include ample run-off space, leaving little room for error should something go wrong. For this reason, Rodden has worked alongside driver, Austin Dillon, on the simulator to make sure Dillon is as prepared as possible going blind into a different type of rush hour. In Dillon’s most recent simulator session for the Chicago Street Course, he maxed out around 144 mph and his minimum speed was around 40 mph.

“The biggest thing with the simulator is the unknown grip. You can learn your line, you can kind of learn some braking points, but if we get there and the track or tire combination don’t have what we expect, we will have to react,” said Rodden.

Like any other weekend, qualifying well will play a key role in finding success, especially going into the unknown. “You want to win the pole, but if you don’t you might have to adapt a little bit. It’s going to be tough, and the track is going to be blocked in some corners if there’s an accident, so there’s probably going to be advantages to running alone,” said Rodden.

Much like its Cup series counterparts, Xfinity series drivers Sheldon Creed and  Austin Hill saw maximum speeds around 141 mph, while the minimum bottoms out around 29 mph.

The competition teams are not the only ones preparing for a big weekend ahead. Get Bioethanol and 3Chi will act as the primaries on the Cup Series side. Get Bioethanol will run their standard scheme on Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet, while 3Chi will run their black and gold paint scheme on Kyle Busch’s No. 8 Chevrolet.

While in Chicago, fans may notice RCR’s Hill on billboards throughout the weekend. Global Industrial has branded the city and will don a patriotic scheme in honor of Independence Day on the No. 21 Chevrolet. The red, white, and blue scheme filled with stars and stripes is perfect to kick off the July 4th holiday weekend.

Don’t miss out on the historic Chicago event beginning on Saturday. Xfinity Series practice and qualifying will begin at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by Cup Series practice and qualifying at 1:30 p.m. ET. Saturday’s Xfinity Series race will start at 5:00 p.m. ET on USA Network. Sunday’s Cup Series race will air on NBC at 5:30 p.m. ET.