WWT Raceway preps for NASCAR Cup Series in 2023

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The Cup Series will return to WWT Raceway on June 4, 2023.

MADISON, Ill. — World Wide Technology Raceway owner and CEO Curtis Francois says it’s been “one heck of a year” for the motorsports facility, highlighted by hosting NASCAR’s top tier of racing for the first time. But as 2022 wraps up, Francois isn’t taking a victory lap at the Madison, Illinois, raceway. 

“I’m looking already toward 2023,” he said. 

Francois said the WWT Raceway staff is working to replicate the success of its NASCAR Cup Series race in its second year, while also moving forward with additional upgrades at the facility and plans to host new events in 2023.

“We’ve always been on the move here and we never stop,” Francois said. 

WWT Raceway is nearing the end of a monumental year for the facility, which in June staged its first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race in front of a sellout crowd of more than 60,000 fans. The event, the Enjoy Illinois 300, also included the Confluence Music Festival with performances from several artists. The Cup Series will return to WWT Raceway on June 4, 2023

Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series

In addition to a sellout crowd, WWT says the 2022 Enjoy Illinois 300, which was broadcast on FS1, drew an average of 2.5 million viewers and generated billions of impressions from pre-race and post-race news coverage of the event. 

“In 2022, there’s just no doubt, sponsors got their money’s worth with that particular event,” Francois said.

The 2022 Enjoy Illinois 300 had strong backing from sponsors and Francois said the facility is seeking to build upon that for 2023 iteration. He said all of the event’s founding corporate partners, which includes big names like Ameren, Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC) and Edward Jones, are committed to next year’s event. The raceway has also added new backers, with Lindenwood University becoming a race sponsor and Goodyear partnering with WWT Raceway for a hospitality and sales incentive event.

The preparation for next year’s Enjoy Illinois 300 also includes plans for additional upgrades at WWT Raceway. Since acquiring the raceway in 2011, Francois has pumped $50 million into improvements at the facility, saying that figure will reach $100 million by 2025. Francois said new upgrades will include expanded trackside camping, more pedestrian bridges, improving connectivity of the venue and a new garage design to give fans more exposure to the racing vehicles. 

While the Enjoy Illinois 300 took center stage in 2022, WWT Raceway continues to host an array of racing events at its facility. It says it’s the only U.S. raceway to annually host races for the top series of NASCAR, Indycar and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). It hosted the 2022 NHRA Midwest Nationals, saying the event was one of two NHRA events in the 2022 season to have a sellout crowd. WWT Raceway’s annual IndyCar race, Bommarito Automotive Group 500, will return on Aug. 27, 2023, and is slated to be broadcast nationally on NBC. 

Read the full story and see the photo gallery from the Enjoy Illinois 300 on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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