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Mayor Lori Lightfoot participates in a panel discussion with Chicago and NASCAR officials last year after the announcement that NASCAR will hold a race in the city each year for three years, starting in 2023.

Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times

The Rundown: NASCAR returns to Chicago this weekend

Plus, a Chicagoan won the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. Here’s what you need to know today.

Good afternoon! We made it to the first weekend of July, and the weather looks like it’ll be perfect for taking advantage of Chicago’s best summer activities.

1. NASCAR is back in Chicago this weekend

Whether you love or hate the idea of a downtown street race, the event will take over Grant Park and some surrounding streets tomorrow and Sunday.

If you want to learn more about how the 75-lap race works, my colleague Ellery Jones has a turn-by-turn breakdown of the course. [Chicago Sun-Times]

NBC will be broadcasting the event for those interested in watching from home. [Chicago Sun-Times]

For those who have to be downtown, street and sidewalk closures will be in effect. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Loop business owners have mixed reactions about the massive two-day event, with some closing for the weekend and others expecting increased foot traffic. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. The National Association of Realtors delayed changes to its broker commission practices. Here’s what to know.

Realtors and homebuyers now have until August to adjust to broker commissions becoming negotiable after a series of class-action lawsuits, Abby Miller reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Chicago-based association was supposed to implement changes by the end of this month.

Starting Aug. 17, buyers will need to sign an agreement that discloses their broker’s commission. The contract must be signed before a Realtor can represent a client and show them properties. The agreements will outline the services a client can expect from their Realtor. It also discloses how much the agent will be compensated and by whom.

Some Chicago Realtors have long been using buyer-agency agreements, but they were never a state requirement and will be an adjustment for other Realtors. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Domestic violence survivors in Illinois are in prison for abusers’ crimes

A little-known “theory of accountability” law allows people to be punished for the acts of another, and victims of intimate partner violence are particularly vulnerable for prosecution, The Marshall Project reports.

There is no comprehensive data about how many people are in prison for the crimes of their abuser. But a legal document search identified nearly 100 people across the country who were convicted of assisting, supporting or failing to stop a crime by their alleged abuser.

Illinois lawyers, lawmakers and advocates have tried different approaches to change the system, but proposed legislation hasn’t gone anywhere. [The Marshall Project]

4. Chicagoan Patrick Bertoletti won the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest

Bertoletti won in a tight, 10-minute race, the first since 2015 that wasn’t won by famed hot dog eater Joey Chestnut, The Associated Press reports.

He gobbled down 58 hot dogs, beating his prior record of 55 dogs and buns to defeat 13 competitors from around the world. The annual event is held every Independence Day on New York’s Coney Island.

The 39-year-old has won hundreds of eating contests, with highlights including 275 pickled jalapenos in eight minutes and 444 chicken wings in half an hour. [AP]

5. Scientists say Earth’s core has slowed so much that it’s moving backward

The core, a solid metal ball, moves independently of the spinning planet. And as CNN reports, scientists disagree about what’s causing the changes to the core.

That’s because the core is impossible to observe, so studies throughout the years have disagreed on the speed and direction of rotation — and some even proposed the core didn’t rotate at all.

But new research proposes not only that the core’s rotation rate has slowed, but also a decadeslong pattern of slowing down and speeding up.

“We’ve been arguing about this for 20 years, and I think this nails it,” Dr. John Vidale, Dean’s Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California, told CNN. “I think we’ve ended the debate on whether the inner core moves, and what’s been its pattern for the last couple of decades.” [CNN]

Here’s what else is happening

  • The U.S. added 206,000 jobs in June. [New York Times]
  • The Labour Party won a landslide victory in the U.K.’s general election. [AP]
  • A federal judge partially blocked a ban on noncompete agreements. [NPR]
  • Two people reported being bitten by sharks off Texas’ South Padre Island. [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

July ushers in most of the summer’s major music festivals in Chicago (aka one of my favorite parts of summertime in the city).

If you don’t attend Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park or Windy City Smokeout outside the United Center, there’s also street fests like West Fest Chicago in West Town, Fiesta del Sol in Pilsen, Wicker Park Fest and Square Roots in Lincoln Square.

But for those who want to avoid the large crowds and really focus on the music, WBEZ contributor Mark Guarino put together a list of 10 alternatives that still promise memorable summer nights.

The selections include Jimmy Burns on July 13 at the Muddy Waters MOJO Museum, Joanna Sternberg on July 20 at The Hideout. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

From a favorite backyard cookout dish to a prime fireworks viewing spot (or less traditional plans), what’s your favorite way to celebrate the Fourth of July in the Chicago area?

Suzanne writes:

“On the Fourth of July rather than plan a barbeque or trip to the beach I especially enjoy getting together for an early dinner with a couple of friends at Candlelite in West Ridge at 7452 N Western Avenue, just south of Howard. Open 5 to 10 p.m. The staff are welcoming and friendly, the booths are comfortable, the food is very good with vegetarian options. And they have been known to offer a special red, white and blue sundae for dessert, quite big enough to share!”

Diane writes:

“When I was younger my family and I lived between two towns. I found that I could enjoy watching both St Charles and Elgin fireworks from the roof of my parents house instead of trying to find parking then driving through dangerous traffic in the dark after the display ended. Now St Charles has moved the location to blocks from the house I share with my spouse (too bad our son lives out of state!) It’s nice to be able to walk.”

Thanks for all the responses this week! It was great hearing from everyone, and I hope you all had a great Fourth.

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