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NASCAR is swinging for the fences on the streets of Chicago

It was 74 years and two weeks ago when NASCAR ran the first race of its Strictly Stock division, what we now know as the Cup Series. In the years since, over 2,696 races, those stock cars have rumbled around ovals of dirt, asphalt and concrete, over road courses, through an Atlantic ocean spray, between sand dunes, and even inside ballparks, football stadiums and across an airport tarmac in New Jersey.

This weekend, though, those machines and the drivers within them will navigate a raceway unlike anywhere or anyone before them. They will steer their way through the Loop Community of Chicago, the first true street course ever run by the world's preeminent stock car series.