JOLIET – Race fans will have plenty of opportunities to get their NASCAR on at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend.
The speedway will host Rally, Rock and Race Weekend on Friday and Saturday. The one-ticket admission will offer concerts, a classic car show and two races, among other activities.
"Unlike a lot of stick and ball sports where you show up just before the game, our fans make a full-day commitment," said Scott Paddock, Speedway president. "So there's no shortage of activities that we offer to them."
New to the races this year is Fan Zone Pit Pass which, along with an admission ticket, will allow fans to enter the garages at the speedway.
"This is the first time we've ever been able to open up the garage area," Paddock said. "It's the No. 1 request that we receive from fans."
"The great thing that differentiates NASCAR from every other sport is the access that it provides," Paddock said. "The pit pass is like having a sideline pass at Soldier Field for an NFL game."
Designated pathways and viewing areas will be available in both garages to allow fans "up-close and personal views while race teams continue their preparation for the day’s events," Paddock said.
Paddock said this is the first year that NASCAR has OK'd opening up the garages, and then only in its supporting series events. Paddock said he hopes garage access eventually will be granted for the Sprint Cup Series.
Guests entering the garages will receive a hot sheet with garage guide, a map of garage stalls and a detailed explanation of the NASCAR inspection process.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series garage will be open Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., while the ARCA Racing Series garages will be open from noon to 1 p.m., and 3 to 4 p.m.
Pit passes are $25. Weekend race admission starts at $30 for adults and $5 for children.
Activities like the garage passes, car shows, concerts and other events have helped increase the fan base at both the speedway and Route 66 Raceway year over year, he said.
Chicagoland Speedway also will be the site of a Saturday car show featuring both classic and custom vehicles.
Fans and guests in attendance will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite car on display. The five cars with the most votes will be featured at the Hollywood Casino Joliet Route 66 Classic on Aug. 16. The five winners receive two tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 14.
Bob Barton of Orland Park won last year's show with his "diamond black cherry" 1967 Mercury Cougar XR7GT.
By sheer attendance, Barton said the speedway show dwarfs most other car shows.
"You get 20,000 fans coming to a race anyway, so they're car enthusiasts themselves," Barton said.
Asked whether he expects a repeat victory, Barton said "I don't see why not. My car is like a magnet."
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Rally, Rock & RaceFriday• 1:30 to 2 p.m.: Parking lots, gates and grandstands open• 2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 practice• 3:30 p.m.: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards final practice• 3:30 to 7 p.m.: Season ticket holder trackside party• 5:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 final practice• 8 p.m.: Switchfoot concert• 9 p.m.: Collective Soul concert
Saturday• 10 a.m.: Parking lots open• 11 a.m.: Champions Park, box office, gates and Infield Fan Zone opens• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: DJ, live entertainment and contests• 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Chicagoland Speedway Car Show• Noon to 3 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series Garage Experience• Noon to 1 p.m.: ARCA Racing Series Garage Experience• 1:30 p.m.: ARCA Ansell ActivArmr 150 qualifying• 2 p.m.: Bean bag tournament• 2:30 p.m.: Kids Club Dash autograph session• 3 to 4 p.m.: ARCA Racing Series Garage Experience• 3 to 4:30 p.m.: Radio Disney Road Crew Live• 3:10 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 qualifying• 4 p.m.: Blake Rayne Band• 5 p.m.: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Ansell ActivArmr 150• 5:30 p.m. Morgan Leigh• 7:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300• Post-race: Fireworks
Saturday's races include the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Ansell ActiveArmr 150 ARCA Racing series.For more information: www.ChicagolandSpeedway.com or 888-629-RACE