Oh man, terrible way to start out what was supposed to be an exciting weekend for NASCAR.
The sport is rolling into Chicago for the first time (and yes, I know they used to race at Chicagoland, but that was in Joliet, not Chicago) to hold NASCAR’s first ever street race.
It’s supposed to be a time of excitement as the sport makes history. But unfortunately, a contractor passed away this afternoon while working to set up the street course.
According to a report from WGN, the unnamed 53-year old man was an employee of a staging and lighting company working to set up for the event near the start/finish line in Grant Park. It’s been reported that the man was electrocuted around 11:30 AM, but no official cause of death has been confirmed and authorities say they’re leaving that to an autopsy to determine.
The man was taken to Northwestern Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
NASCAR released a short statement on the incident:
“On Friday afternoon, a contractor suffered a fatal medical emergency. We are coordinating with local authorities on this tragic incident. We share our condolences to the family and their loved ones.”
NASCAR statement: “On Friday afternoon, a contractor suffered a fatal medical emergency. We are coordinating with local authorities on this tragic incident. We share our condolences to the family and their loved ones.” https://t.co/P1MMozGiOU
The street race in Chicago is expected to draw nearly 100,000 attendees beginning tomorrow with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Loop 121, followed on Sunday by the Cup Series with the Grant Park 220. The weekend will also feature full-length concerts from Miranda Lambert, Charley Crockett and more.
The makeshift course, which runs through the streets of Chicago, will feature 12 turns along the 2.2 mile track.
Let’s hope the rest of the weekend goes better than today. Thoughts and prayers to this man’s family.