December 1, 2023

Brighton Journal

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NASCAR Chicago: Grant Park 220 postponed, Xfinity Series race called due to rain

NASCAR Chicago: Grant Park 220 postponed, Xfinity Series race called due to rain

Shane Van Gisbergen earned his first win in his NASCAR Cup Series debut at the rain-delayed Grant Park 220, short dark, downhill slide at Chicago Street Raceway.

The rain was delayed by 90 minutes, and the weather gradually eased but still gave drivers bouts of water on the roads. There were nine cautions, the last of which was on the last lap, which added additional laps in overtime.

Van Gisbergen defeated Justin Haley, who came in second followed by Chase Elliott.

The race was chaotic at times with several cars hitting the tire barriers, especially in Turn 6 at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Balboa Street. It was a rocky start as the first caution came out on the second lap.

Originally slated for 100 laps, the drivers only ran 75 after NASCAR elected to cut things short due to impending darkness. Sunset was at 8:29 p.m

The race started at 5:37 p.m., later than the original 4 p.m. start time on Sunday after hours of delays due to local flood warnings, forcing officials to call the Xfinity Series race into the weekend before it was completed.

NASCAR’s decision to postpone the Cup Series race from its planned 4:05 p.m. start time came minutes after the National Weather Service sent out another emergency alert about a “life-threatening” flash flood warning.

Ellery Jones of the Sun-Times said there were audible groans in the media room as the alarm on phones rang just before 4pm local time.

Cole Custer had won the previous race The Loop 121, leading 25 of 55 when Saturday’s red flag was brought down by lightning. NASCAR announced Sunday that those results are final.

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Related outdoor concerts scheduled for Sunday, including those of Charlie Crockett and Miranda Lambert, have also been cancelled.

Earlier Sunday, NASCAR said it was in “hold mode” due to standing water on the track. The race was halted on Saturday due to lightning.

The National Weather Service has extended a flash flood warning for Cook County, which includes Chicago, and surrounding areas until 6:30 p.m. axial time.

In an emergency push alert, the NWS warned:

“This is a dangerous, life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing a flood-prone area or under an evacuation order.”