BBQ Smokedown returns to Chicagoland Speedway this Summer


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JOLIET, Ill. (February 21, 2020) — Chicagoland Speedway announced today that the BBQ SmokeDown will return to Chicagoland Speedway’s NASCAR Summer Festival Weekend June 18-21. Last year’s BBQ SmokeDown featured BBQ Hall of Famers Myron Mixon, “Dr. BBQ” Ray Lampe, Chris Lilly and Famous Dave Anderson as well as Champion BBQ Teams and leading brands like Big Green Egg, PK, Ergo Chef, Weber and many more.

This year’s special guests include several BBQ Hall of Famers, James Beard award winners, celebrity pitmasters, including KC’s own STRETCH Rumaner, a restaurateur, BBQ team owner and TV personality, who will serve as this year’s celebrity emcee.

The BBQ SmokeDown will feature a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned (KCBS) Master Series competition for chicken, ribs, pork and brisket, along with a KCBS “Backyard” competition, a Steak Cook Off and kid’s competition. Judges for the BBQ SmokeDown will come from the ranks of certified KCBS judges, alongside some of the favorite personalities from Food Network, BBQ, Chicago media, racing, sports and NASCAR fans.

“On the heels of the wildly successful inaugural BBQ SmokeDown last year, we will welcome back the best BBQ teams in the business during our NASCAR Summer Festival Weekend,” said Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock. “Nothing says summer festival like NASCAR and BBQ, and we look forward to the second installment of the BBQ SmokeDown.”

KCBS CEO Emily Detwiler added: “The connections between BBQ and racing are undeniable; BBQ SmokeDown brings top KCBS competition and all of the excitement of NASCAR to one great, highly anticipated weekend for the 2020 schedule.”

This year’s BBQ SmokeDown at Chicagoland Speedway will also feature exclusive BBQ tasting events, a Trackside Tasting Tailgate, demos, as well as activations and experiences highlighting the people and products of the BBQ world.

“SmokeDown has quickly become a true signature event in the world of BBQ, with reigning Grand Champion (The BBQ Bus) qualifying for the Jack Daniel’s World BBQ Invitational,” said Dane Neal, national food media personality and host on WGN 720 Radio. “The incredible backdrop of race weekend, with many of the country’s best KCBS teams, the stars of NASCAR, and legends of BBQ, add to a highly anticipated 2020 BBQ SmokeDown. This is the can’t-miss event this summer.”

“Chicago is my hometown, and I love the Bears, Sox and Chicagoland Speedway! The 2020 Smokedown event is shaping to be even bigger and better. The. Competition will be fierce on the track and in the pits, but when the smoke is clear, we’ll be crowning our next SmokeDown Champ,” said BBQ Hall of Famer, author and restaurateur Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ.

BBQ SmokeDown at Chicagoland Speedway will feature:

  • KCBS Contests, Steak Cook Off and Additional Categories
  • Exclusive Tasting Tailgate and Events
  • Driver Grilling Challenges
  • Celebrity Meet and Greet, Book Signings
  • Exclusive Camping, Tasting, Tailgate and Ticket packages!
  • Samples, Bites and BBQ from Top Chefs and BBQ Greats!

The Inaugural BBQ SmokeDown at Chicagoland Speedway saw 40 KCBS teams compete with three of the top five teams in the country. The SmokeDown Grand Champion went to the American Royal Invitational and was drawn for the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational BBQ Championship. The BBQ SmokeDown and personalities were featured on WGN Radio, the NASCAR on NBC broadcast and the Emmy Award-winning series FOCUSED airing in 90 million homes nationwide.

For more information and to participate as a team or judge email

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Chicagoland Speedway will take place June 18-21. The NASCAR Summer Festival Weekend will kick off with the ARCA Menards Series followed by the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and will culminate with the NASCAR Cup Series

To purchase tickets to any 2020 Chicagoland Speedway event, visit us online at, call 888-629-RACE (7223), download the Chicagoland Speedway mobile app, visit the Chicagoland Speedway Administrative office or stop by the box office on the day of the event.

For the most current information about Chicagoland Speedway, follow us on Facebook along with Twitter and Instagram @chicagolndspdwy.


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