Worldwide Express Transports Critical Infrastructure for NASCAR’s Inaugural Street Race

FOX32 Chicago
July 1, 2023

CHICAGO — The wait is finally over! After months of planning, NASCAR’S Chicago Street Race Weekend is here. To kick the jam-packed weekend into high gear, NASCAR hosted a “Welcome Party’ for drivers, executives, and Chicago notables at RPM Events on Friday.

On the red carpet, professional drivers told FOX 32 Chicago that they still have studying to do ahead of qualifiers on Saturday. Two races will take place this weekend – the NASCAR Xfinity Series race named “The Loop 121′ at 4 p.m. Saturday, followed by the NASCAR Cup Series race dubbed “Grant Park 220′ on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. “There is a couple ways to do things, you either bring the fans to the track or you bring the track to the fans – and that is what a street course is, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Daniel Suarez, NASCAR Cup Series driver.

With only hours to go until NASCAR’s top drivers zip through our streets, they enjoyed a night on the river — taking in the sights of the city before they’ll be weaving through them. “We are about to make history this weekend,” said Julie Giese, NASCAR Chicago Street Race president. “Just looking forward to seeing them be able to adjust to a new arena, and putting on an awesome show for the great people of Chicago and everybody watching around the world,” said BJ McLeod, BJ McLeod Motorsports owner.

It’s NASCAR’s first-ever street race so it will be an adjustment for some. “There’s 12 corners so there’s definitely 12 areas that are hard, and even the straightaways are wavy. You have some transitions from old pavement to new pavement so there’s a ton of variables,” said Corey LaJoie, NASCAR Cup Series driver. “There is no room for mistake, you know, you have a wall and a wall,” said Suarez.

The conditions may even level up to Chicago’s notorious potholes. “The scary part is a 90 degree turn at the end of that, and it’s very bumpy,” said Joey Logano, NASCAR Cup Series driver. Still, it won’t stop them from reaching top speeds. “If it’s not raining, definitely over 140 mph, close to 165, 170 down the long straightaways,” said Logano.

Cars are equipped with all-weather tires, so even if it rains the race must go on. NASCAR officials tell FOX 32 Chicago the only way it will be paused is if there is a downpour or lightning. Also racing toward the finish line Friday were crews as they put the finishing touches on the track. In the last day, the course has transformed with major headway being made overnight.

Worldwide Express has transported thousands of Goodyear tires from Oklahoma for tire packs along the course, and they’ve delivered 2,200 concrete barriers to bring the track to life. “Over the last weeks we’ve been picking up truckloads of trailers and trailers and trailers of barriers, moving them up from Lynwood, storing them in McCormick Place, and then we kind of have a conveyer belt shift based on the build schedule,” said Daniel Pedowitz, Director of Customer Solutions for Worldwide Express. “Fortunately for Worldwide, we’ve been able to employ a bunch of people from the Chicagoland area that have been an integral part in getting this done.” When all is said and done, Pedowitz said his team will have until July 15 to pack everything up, but hopes to finish the job sooner.

Gates to NASCAR’s festival grounds open at 9 a.m. Saturday, with NASCAR drivers set to practice beginning at 10 a.m. No matter how complex your shipping needs are, Worldwide Express has 75+ top-tier carrier partners that can provide supply chain solutions, tailored to your business.

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