Thursday was unofficially dubbed “Dude’s Day” at Chicagoland Speedway.
That’s in part to the rare scene of worlds colliding from the world of Motorsports and Acting as NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., motocross superstar Ryan Villopoto and Chicago Fire Actor Taylor Kinney spent the afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway doing pace car laps, hitting golf balls from four stories above the race track into the infield and rode pit bikes.
It was a celebration to set the stage for the inaugural Chicagoland Pit Bike National, which will conjunction with the Camping World 400 NASCAR Summer Festival weekend June 27-30.
The effort to bring the scaled down motocross bike racing, traditionally used by younger kids, to Chicagoland started off in January. It was then when six-time AMA National motocross racer Ryan Villopoto, now retired, posted a message on Instagram asking seven time NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson, an motocross racer in his younger days, his thoughts on having Pit Bike racing at Chicagoland Speedway during NASCAR weekend.
That conversation sparked a fire that began engaging people from around the racing world. Icons like Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Dungey and many more weighed in throughout the conversation, while others like NASCAR drivers Chase Elliot, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr gave their proverbial nod.
Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock sent out a message on social media giving the event a green light. Just like that, a NASCAR & Pit Bike connection was born.
The Camping World 400 NASCAR Summer Festival weekend June 27-30, which includes Pit Bike Racing, the Carnival, the BBQ competition, the concert by Lee Brice and the Olympic size pool all set to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.