DOWNTOWN — After driver Shane van Gisbergen navigated Chicago’s first NASCAR course Sunday to take the win, Chicagoans are now left wondering: How fast can NASCAR clean up?
On Monday morning, workers began deconstructing some bleachers and barricades along the course, creating a few openings for rubberneckers to sneak on the track if they were sly enough.
“I just got lucky, came across an opening and nobody stopped me,” said one cyclist, who zipped around the track before it was reopened to car traffic. “Chicago will always be a sports city.”
A woman also rolled around the course on a seated electric scooter Monday, filming the one-of-a-kind joyride on her phone.
Cleanup crews will work up until midnight Monday and restart 12 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, when they will remove the final remaining track walls on DuSable Lake Shore Drive, according to the city. Track walls will continue to be removed through July 15 as streets reopen along with the cleanup.
On Monday, empty beer cans riddled some streets as unknowing tourists were turned away from seeing Buckingham Fountain, the main plaza of the here-and-gone NASCAR event.
“I’ll just take my parents somewhere else today,” a graduate student at the University of Chicago said.
Downtown traffic on the outskirts of the course was light Monday as city workers redirected cars away from street closures.
DuSable Lake Shore Drive’s northbound lanes from McFetridge Drive to Randolph Street reopened late Sunday, along with Michigan Avenue’s southbound lanes between Balbo and Jackson.
DuSable Lake Shore Drive’s southbound lanes between Monroe Street and McFetridge Road are scheduled to reopen Tuesday.
Michigan Avenue’s northbound lanes between Balbo Drive and West Jackson Boulevard will reopen Wednesday.
A full list of the scheduled reopenings is here.
NASCAR has already opened its waitlist for tickets to its Chicago street race next summer.
More photos from the Monday teardown here:
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