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Despite Thanksgiving Day Parade, road work continues for Detroit Grand Prix

Long-running IndyCar race series returns to the streets of downtown Detroit in 2023.
Jake Neher
Long-running IndyCar race series returns to the streets of downtown Detroit in 2023.

Organizers predict thousands of people will line the streets of downtown Detroit for this week’s annual Thanksgiving parade, but work will continue for another event — the Detroit Grand Prix.

Crews are reportedly set to finish pouring the last of 80,000 square feet of new asphalt and concrete on some streets near Detroit’s Renaissance Center, creating the smooth surface needed for a race track.

The Detroit Grand Prix moves from Belle Isle to the city’s downtown for next year’s event.

The track, which travels along portions of Jefferson Avenue and the city’s riverfront, among other streets, features a straightaway promoters say is as long as the one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s shorter than the previous Belle Isle track, and IndyCars will run about 100 laps, alternating between high-speed sections and a hairpin turn.

It’s so compact, in fact, that there’s not enough room for a full single-file pit lane. Drivers will make stops at both sides of pit road, a first for IndyCar.

Quinn Klinefelter is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, anchoring midday newscasts and preparing reports for WDET, NPR and the BBC. Klinefelter joined WDET in 1998 after earning a M.A. from the nation’s top-ranked journalism school, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and working as a sports correspondent for BBC Radio 4 and as a talk show host, anchor and reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio.