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It's NASCAR Race Weekend -- Why Not Have Some Fun?

Parade, show cars, car simulators -- even a $10 ticket to watch the practice runs -- means there's no shortage of race-related activities in Joliet this weekend.

It's NASCAR weekend in , and that means plenty to do at Chicagoland Speedway -- and all over town.

5 p.m. Thursday, starting at , traveling through downtown Joliet and ending up at Chicagoland Speedway. More than 30 Sprint Cup Series Team Hauler trucks participate, following a downtown route from Jefferson Street to Scott Street to Jackson Street and to Ottawa Street, following Route 53 to the track. Designated viewing spots are , 73 W. Jefferson St.; the Joliet Historical Museum, 201 N. Ottawa St.; and the , 150 N. Ottawa St.

WATCH RACE PRACTICE: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. For a $10 donation to R.A.C.E., the track's nonprofit foundation, fans will have access to general admission seating in the stands. Tickets are sold only on Friday at the track's south gate. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. Practice times are noon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice; 1:40 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice; 3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice; and 4:40 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Practice. 

RACE FAN RALLY: 4 to 11 p.m. Friday on Chicago Street in downtown Joliet. The highlight of the free public event is a chance to meet NASCAR drivers, including Ricky Stenhouse Jr., time to be announced; Johanna Long, 6 to 7 p.m.; Casey Mears, 7:15 to 8:15 p.m.; and Jeremy Clements, 8 to 9 p.m. The rally also features display race cars, a driving simulator, a classic car show, live music, food, and an interactive KidZone, with a rock climbing wall, water fight zone and large-scale remote control racing experience.

CAR SIMULATORS/FRIDAY: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday at , 2424 W. Jefferson St., Joliet. Free public displays include the Hefty Show Car Simulator, Cheez-It Show Car Simulator, No. 24 Pepsi MAX Chevrolet, No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, 5-hour Energy Show Car, Hellmann’s Show Car Simulator, Miller Lite Show Car, Coca-Cola 2-Seat Simulator and Shell-Pennzoil No. 22 Dodge Charger.

CAR SIMULATORS/SATURDAY: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Walmart, 2424 W. Jefferson St., Joliet. Free public displays include the Oreo Ritz Show Car, Coors Light Show Car, M&M’s Show Car, Sim Pod and Trophy Display, Budweiser Show Car, Hefty Show Car Simulator and Wheaties Show Car.

BUY NASCAR RACE TICKETS: It's not too late! Tickets are still available for Saturday's Dollar General 300 ($40 to $115), Sunday's Geico 400 ($55 to $180) on Sunday or both ($90 to $190. Buy online them at www.chicagolandspeedway.com/Tickets.

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