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Julie Giese to lead NASCAR’s Chicago street race project

The Motormouths crew discusses which drivers to keep an eye on as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway in the regular-season finale.

Phoenix Raceway president Julie Giese will leave that position at the end of the NASCAR season to oversee operations for the Chicago Street Course race weekend July 1-2, 2023, NASCAR announced Thursday.

Giese has begun work on the Chicago race but will continue to lead Phoenix Raceway through its Nov. 4-6 race weekend, the conclusion of the NASCAR schedule. Then, NASCAR said, she will relocate to Chicago to work on preparations for the July event, the first NASCAR street race.

Giese will open a NASCAR office in Chicago.

“Julie brings a long history of driving results and managing high-profile initiatives at NASCAR venues -- from her work in promoting the $400 million redevelopment of Daytona International Speedway to her leadership role as president of a thriving Phoenix Raceway,” said NASCAR senior vice president Chip Wile in a release.

Since the announcement of the unusual downtown Chicago race in July, some Chicago city leaders have criticized the event, particularly the fact that major city streets will be closed for an extended period.

NASCAR said Giese will be replaced as Phoenix president after season’s end.

“I look forward to making Chicago my new home and leading NASCAR’s deep involvement in Chicago to make this incredible event successful for this great city and for motorsports,” Giese said in a release. “NASCAR events bring tremendous economic impact to their host communities as the world’s most loyal fans come to see the greatest drivers in the world. We look forward to hosting them in the world-class city of Chicago.”