Chicago Motor Speedway
The first motor racing facility to be built in the Chicago area for more than 50 years, the Chicago Motor Speedway is located in the western Chicago suburb of Cicero, once famous as the home of gangster Al Capone. The track was built in 1998 on the site of the old Sportsmans Park horse race track, which is located between the Hawthorn Park racecourse and the railroad tracks which started the city's booming growth in the 1880s. The track, which is headed by race team owner Chip Ganassi, negotiated a deal with Charles Bidwell II, owner of Sportsmans Park, to help him increase the use of the facility and it can be used both for car racing and for horses, the pitlane and warm-up lane which run parallel to the paved oval being covered with a rubber-based surface and dirt to create the horse track. The facility is dominated by a 65,000-seat grandstand, although from the infield one can see the distant skyscrapers of downtown Chicago.