JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) — More than 500 truckloads of dirt are being dumped on the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet Tuesday in a mad dash to get the circuit ready for Saturday’s first ever SuperMotocross playoff series.
It’s the first large scale public event at the Speedway in more than four years.
“We’ve gone to speedways before, but this is a great location. It’s close to Chicago. It gives us a huge footprint to build a track we’ve not seen before. We’re going up over the wall here, turn one, out to the parking lot, turn back, jump back into the Speedway,” said Bill Heras, tour manager of SuperMotocross.
Combining the best elements of both motocross and supercross, the one-day dirt bike race will provide a huge book for both the Speedway and the city of Joliet. The former host of both Indycar and NASCAR has remained largely unused since NASCAR pulled the plug on the venue after the 2019 season.
“Being able to diversify, and use the property is incredibly important and this just shows we’re able to do that,” said Julie Giese of the Chicagoland Speedway.
The race, which is expected to draw around 35,000 fans, will also provide an important economic windfall to Joliet, which has been missing the revenue that used to come during the NASCAR days.
“If each of them spend $10 on food and $10 on gas, we’re looking at $700,000 retail sales that are coming just from the attendees alone, only for the short time they’re here,” said Cesar Suarez, director of economic development for the City of Joliet.
While there is no promise the event will return next year, the hope is that the race marks a new beginning for the Chicagoland Speedway.
A day-long fan fest event will precede the race itself, which begins at 6:30 p.m.