Inaugural Grant Park 220
Date: July 2, 2023
Event: Inaugural Grant Park 220 (Round 18 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Chicago Street Course (temporary 2.2-mile, 12-turn street circuit)
Format: 100 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/25 laps/55 laps)
Note: Race was shortened 22 laps shy of its scheduled 100-lap distance due to darkness.
Race Winner: Shane van Gisbergen of Trackhouse Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
SHR Race Finish:
● Aric Almirola (Started 24th, Finished 12th / Running, completed 78 of 78 laps)
● Aric Almirola (27th with 297 points, 294 out of first)
● Almirola earned his best result since finishing sixth April 16 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
● In his first career NASCAR Cup Series start, Shane van Gisbergen won the inaugural Grant Park 220, becoming the first driver in 60 years to win in his Cup Series debut. The New Zealander and three-time Supercars champion beat second-place Justin Haley by 1.259 seconds. The last time a Cup Series driver won in his first career start was Johnny Rutherford at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in 1963.
● Van Gisbergen was the 12th different winner in the 18 NASCAR Cup Series races run this season.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● All but three of the 37 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Martin Truex Jr., remains the championship leader after Chicago with a nine-point advantage over second-place William Byron.
“What an awesome event. It’s almost dark out and the city’s lit up. Amazing event. My hat is off to NASCAR, the city of Chicago, everybody who thought about putting on this event. What an amazing event. I’m glad to have a good run, too – the start of the turnaround of our season, hopefully. It was pretty dicey there in the wet. I’m not going to lie. I was tip-toeing around just trying to not crash, trying to survive, and I’m so glad that it finally dried out and we got slicks on and got those rain tires off. I was way more competitive in those conditions. Just super proud of Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and everybody on this Smithfield Ford Mustang team. We’re grinding. We’re fighting and, hopefully, this is the turn we need to go get us a win here in the next few races.” – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Atlanta 400 on Sunday, July 9 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. The race begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by USA and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.