CHM members are invited to this exclusive event featuring NASCAR representatives and giveaways! Hear about this summer’s races and learn more about the history of motorsports and NASCAR’s connections to Chicago during a panel discussion featuring:

Free; RSVP required. 

Image: Stock car racing at Soldier Field, Chicago, c. 1950. CHM, ICHi-177115; Martin J. Schmidt, photographer


Julie Giese headshot
Julie Giese

Julie Giese is President of the Chicago Street Course, leading the bold initiative to bring NASCAR racing to city streets for the first time in the organization’s 75-year history. Under Giese’s stewardship, the inaugural NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend drew visitors from all 50 states and 15 countries to Chicago and resulted in more than $108 million in economic impact for the city. Named “Best New Event of 2023” by Sports Business Journal, the 2023 Chicago Street Race was the most-watched Cup Series race on NBC in six years and NBC’s most-streamed NASCAR race ever.

From 2018 to 2022, she served as President of Phoenix Raceway, overseeing the promotion and operation of the top motorsports and entertainment destination in the Phoenix market. While leading Phoenix Raceway, Giese also oversaw the marketing efforts for NASCAR’s 13 national series track properties in her role as NASCAR’s Vice President, Track Marketing. Prior to those roles, she served as the Managing Director of Business Operations for International Speedway Corporation’s (ISC) Design & Development, leading the coordination between ISC’s 13 race tracks, internal corporate departments and the Design & Development team on the company’s significant capital investment and redevelopment projects, including the $178 million modernization project at Phoenix Raceway.

Joining ISC in 2001, Giese has taken on roles with increasing responsibility, from Director of Public Relations at Watkins Glen International to Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Daytona International Speedway, where she spent 12 years overseeing all aspects of consumer marketing, branding, creative, advertising, digital, public relations and event entertainment at the “World Center of Racing.” Giese played a leading role in the redevelopment of the Daytona International Speedway, managing the marketing and branding of the project as well its opening in 2016.

Giese has been recognized as one of Forbes’ “Women in Sports to Watch,” Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changers,” AZ Business Magazine’s “Most Influential Women in Arizona,” Cynopsis’ “Top Woman in Sports,” and Axios Chicago’s “Power Players.”

Giese, a native of Wisconsin, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Stan Kalwasinski headshot 2024
Stan Kalwasinski

Born and raised in Chicago, Stan Kalwasinski was bitten by the auto racing “bug” when he was about four years old and attended stock car races with his parents at 87th Street Speedway on Chicago’s southeast side. As a youngster, he went to the races at Chicago area tracks like Raceway Park, Soldier Field, Mance Park and Santa Fe Speedway.

Over the years, Kalwasinski has been a photographer, motorsports writer and announcer. He was a track photographer at Raceway Park and at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Indiana. In the 1990s, Kalwasinski was the announcer at Illiana Motor Speedway and at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois.

Over the years, Kalwasinski has gathered a large collection of Chicago and Midwestern area stock car racing photos and has accumulated extensive files on Chicago area auto racing history. He had been a writer and columnist for both Midwest Racing News and National Speed Sport News for over 20 years, also writing stories for several motorsports magazines. Currently, he is a contributor to on-line racing sites like RaceStar Publications and Speed Sport News.

Kalwasinski is a member of the Mazon Speed Bowl/Grundy County Speedway Hall of Fame and is a board member of the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame.

Pete Pistone headshot
Pete Pistone

Pete Pistone is a veteran motorsports and general sports reporter/journalist with nearly 30 years experience. During his career he has worked for media outlets such as WGN Radio, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicagoland Television (CLTV), CBS Sports, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM.

Pistone has been with SiriusXM since 2008 and co-hosts The Morning Drive on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) with Mike Bagley, which airs Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. ET. He is also the host of Fantasy Racing Preview, a weekend show focusing on NASCAR gambling and fantasy racing, which is part of the channel’s NASCAR Cup Series pre-race programming.

Additionally, Pistone is a member of the SiriusXM College Sports team as an on-air personality and contributor on Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372). He is one of the hosts of Big Ten Today and can also be heard on Big Ten Whip Around, a weekly hour-long program spotlighting a variety of sports around the conference. Pistone is also the host of several specials as well as providing a range of digital content for both the NASCAR and Big Ten channels.

A Chicago native, Pistone resides in the northern suburbs of the city with his wife and daughter.

Shermann Dilla Thomas Headshot
Shermann “Dilla” Thomas

Shermann “Dilla” Thomas is passionate and well-versed in Chicago’s history, architecture, and culture. He brings the city to life through captivating storytelling and insider knowledge. The Chicago Emmy winning, self-taught historian was awarded the City of Chicago’s Tourism Ambassador of the Year by Choose Chicago. Public Narrative has named Dilla the 2022 Studs Terkel Uplifting Voice recipient, and The Chicago Public Library has awarded Dilla the 21st Century Award for his recent achievements in promoting Chicago to the world. Dilla has been independently studying the history of Chicago for over 20 years, and his candid and truthful reflection of that history can be felt in his videos and presentations. Dilla embodies the essence of the city and reverberates his message everywhere that “Everything Dope about America Comes from Chicago.”

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