NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 Cup Series brings economic impact to the community

The second annual Enjoy Illinois 300 brought NASCAR fans from all over.
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 6:27 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The second annual Enjoy Illinois 300 brought NASCAR fans from all over.

Eric McClaughry drove three hours from Canton, Illinois.

“We plan for it all year,” McClaughry says. “It’s a little mini vacation for us.”

McClaughry’s connection to the World Wide Technology Raceway is one decades in the making.

“At least one race a year that they’ve had on the oval track I’ve made it to,” McClaughry says. “What used to be called the Busch Series, now called the Xfinity Series, for years and then started coming to the truck races and then Indy cars and then finally we got the cup race last year. It was a 25-year wish come true for me because I’ve been waiting on it since 1997.”

Crowds filled World Wide Technology Raceway, selling out the tickets each day.

Daniel Thomas with the Illinois Office of Tourism says over 83,000 NASCAR fans made their way to the Metro East this weekend.

“People are going to come and stay in our hotels, dine in our restaurants along Metro East, Illinois, and we’re anticipating about a $60 million investment,” Thomas says.

Thomas says the entire region will see the economic impact.

“That’s just great, not just for not only race fans, but also everyone in the region,” Thomas says.

And it’s something McClaughry hopes continues for decades.

“With a sellout crowd, they’re going to keep coming back, and that’s what we need to have happen here,” McClaughry says. “Keep supporting it so that NASCAR wants to keep coming back to the St. Louis area.”