Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields got a closer look at NASCAR on Sunday when he served as the grand marshal for the Cup Series' first street course race.
He was impressed.
“It's fun,” he said. “This is my first kind of interaction with it, and you know, my time here, I really enjoyed it. It's fun, and I think as time goes on, I mean I know it's already a big sport, but I think it's going to continue to grow, for sure.”
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Fields gave the command for drivers to start their engines from the press center after the start of the race was delayed by a historic amount of rain that flooded the downtown Chicago course. The last half of the Xfinity Race, set to resume after it was suspended Saturday because of lightning, was canceled.
The 24-year-old Fields, a Georgia native, got a chance to meet a couple drivers as the grand marshal, including Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing. Wallace's team is owned by Denny Hamlin and former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan.
“He's cool,” Fields said of Wallace. “He seemed like a pretty chill guy. He seemed pretty calm. Cool, calm and collected.”
Fields said none of the drivers hit him up for Bears tickets.
“I think their mind's focused on one thing right now,” he said with a grin.
Fields is heading into his third NFL season after he was selected by Chicago with the No. 11 pick in the 2021 draft. He passed for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games last year, and he also rushed for 1,143 yards and eight TDs.
Chicago has upgraded its offensive personnel around Fields, trading for wide receiver DJ Moore and signing tight end Robert Tonyan and running back D’Onta Foreman in free agency. The Bears also selected offensive lineman Darnell Wright in the first round of the NFL draft.
The Bears' first practice of training camp is scheduled for July 26, and Fields is staying busy in the meantime.
“Just working out. Throwing with the guys who are in town,” Fields said, “and we'll probably take a little trip down to Florida soon and just all work out together and hang out.”