NASCAR has decided to do a street race in and around downtown Chicago next Fourth of July Weekend; July 2nd to be specific.

Being a good Chicago boy, I'm imagining street racers weaving through the entire city of Chicago; through Humboldt Park, past Wrigley Field, and even letting them run through the Hillside Strangler (that's a horrible mess of roads just west of the city limits.

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Here's how Urban Dictionary describes it:

"Slang term for the westernmost interchange on the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) in Chicago. Three lanes of Interstate 290 narrow to two and three lanes of Interstate 88 narrow to one, to form three lanes of the Eisenhower. The "strangling" effect of merging two three-lane freeways into one three-lane freeway often creates huge traffic jams, thus its notoriety as the 'hillside strangler.'"

But alas, the event is shaping up to be a two-mile course around Grant Park That's fine, but so what? That would be pretty enough and keeps the traffic disruption to a minimum, but what fun is that?

Send them through the real streets of the city. Since almost every sporting event these days is made for television, you really should use Lake Shore Drive. (Of course, look out for the Chicago cops. That's 45 (mph) the whole way. But Lake Shore Drive goes past where the World's Fairs were held in 1893 and 1933, so you'd be sending the drivers through Jackson Park, past the Museum of Science and Industry, and then back up towards Oak Street Beach. Plenty of eye candy there for the folks watching on TV.

But you know how TV loves to self-promote, here's where you put the Finish Line.

Mr. Beef, the real restaurant on Hulu's "The Bear" at 666 Orleans Street. (no kidding) (Google Street View)
Mr. Beef, the real restaurant on Hulu's "The Bear" at 666 Orleans Street. (no kidding) (Google Street View)
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Right in front of the real restaurant that is TV's current darling, "The Bear". The real place is Mr. Beef on Orleans. When the race is over, all the drivers get an Italian Beef. How more Chicago can you get? C'mon, NASCAR, make it happen.

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