NASCAR Chicago

NASCAR Chicago Street Race to end early due to late start, officials say

NBC Universal, Inc.

The NASCAR Chicago Street Race got underway Sunday evening despite a delay due to dramatic flooding and rain that took over city streets, but the race will not run the full 100 laps.

The race began at around 5:30 p.m.(LIVE UPDATES HERE)

Just before the halfway mark of the race, NASCAR officials announced that the race would only run 75 laps, rather than the full 100, because of the threat of darkness.

It took more than 90 minutes for the race to reach 50 laps, which was the originally-scheduled halfway mark.

Officials had moved the start time up to 4 p.m. to try to beat the darkness, but after a delay of more than 90 minutes at the start, officials still had to cut the race short.

Weather issues plagued the historic race weekend both Saturday and Sunday, forcing the cancellations of multiple concerts, an early end of the inaugural Loop 121 Race and delays for the highly anticipated Grant Park 220.

Earlier in the day, NASCAR officials declared Cole Custer the winner of the Loop 121 Race, opting not to the finish the race, which had been cut short due to the precipitation.

According to a statement, the heavy rains and track flooding that have occurred throughout Sunday led to the decision to cancel the remainder of the Xfinity Series race, which was halted on Saturday due to lightning.

"With standing water and flooding a significant issue at the race track and throughout the city, there was no option to return to racing prior to shifting to NASCAR Cup Series race operations," officials said in a statement. "Based on several unprecedented circumstances, NASCAR has made the decision to declare Cole Custer the winner of the race."

NASCAR officials say the Xfinity Series race could have continued Monday, but they opted not to do so after consultation with Chicago officials.

"Throughout the entire planning process for the Chicago Street Race, our relationship with the city of Chicago has been strong and among the most valuable assets in reaching this historic weekend," officials said. "In the spirit of that partnership, returning on Monday for the completion of a NASCAR Xfinity Series event two laps short of halfway was an option we chose not to employ."

Gates for the event did not open on time Sunday morning because “of the threat of severe weather," and after an estimated start time of 10:45 a.m. was set, rain intensified, causing the race to be delayed.

In addition, scheduled concerts by country star Miranda Lambert and blues artist Charley Crockett have been canceled due to flooding in Lower Hutchison Field, according to officials.

This comes after lightning and storms led to cancellations of other major performances Saturday.

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