Anti-Israel protesters arrested after locking themselves inside fence at NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race

July 8, 2024
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Two anti-Israel protesters were arrested at NASCAR’s second annual Chicago Street Race on Sunday after locking themselves inside the fence for 40 minutes. 

The protesters held up a sign that read, “[Pritzker]: We charge genocide” and “Bombs for Gaza, prisons for Illinois” while sitting on top of the fence. 

Pritzker is in reference to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, who protesters called out for using Illinois “state dollars to finance Israel’s genocidal campaign [in] Palestine.”

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Protesters taken off NASCAR fence

Protesters are arrested prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 165 in Chicago on July 7, 2024. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Organizers of the protest released a statement that said the act was done to condemn “local, state and federal governments’ ongoing genocide and mass imprisonment agenda.”

The statement also said it condemned NASCAR driver Alon Day, who is Jewish and has publicly shown his support for Israel in its war against Hamas.

“Organizers also condemn the attempt made by Chicago city officials and NASCAR to manufacture consent for Israel’s mass death campaign by using the race as a staging ground for ‘proud Zionist’ driver Alon Day’s Israeli propaganda (although, it seems Day’s racing skills have made this attempt an uphill battle),” the statement read, per the City Bureau’s Grace Del Vecchio.

ISRAELI NASCAR DRIVER ALON DAY TO PAY HOMAGE TO HOSTAGES AT UPCOMING RACE, SLAMS RISE OF ANTISEMITISM

The organizers poked fun at Day for wrecking his No. 45 Chevy Camaro after a mishap under a yellow caution flag during a practice session on Saturday. Day crashed into Justin Allgaier’s stationary vehicle after an earlier collision with a tire barrier. Day was unaware of the hazard, and “when I came there, I mean, on my side, I couldn’t hear anything.”

Day recently spoke with Fox News Digital about how he was hoping to do more than just racing in Chicago this weekend.

Day, the lone Israeli driver in NASCAR, wanted to pay homage to those still held captive by Hamas after its Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. He drove his Camaro for Alpha Prime Racing, with Jet Support Services inc. (JSSI) and Setna iO serving as two of the sponsors. 

Day’s car was wrapped with JSSI-branded blue and white, which are the colors of the Israeli flag. The car also had the Hebrew word for life on it, חי, in tribute to those being held captive. But unfortunately for him, he wasn’t able to race on Sunday after the wreck because Alpha Prime Racing didn’t have a backup car for him. 

Alon Day car

The No. 45 JSSI Chevrolet driven by Alon Day is towed after crashing during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series The Loop 110 at Chicago Street Course on July 6, 2024. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Day said he has five friends who are among the 116 people still believed to be held captive by Hamas. 

“I think I’m more motivated than ever. I won four times, the European Championship, and I always did it for my own success,” Day said. “Like all of us, we’re human. We try to be the best we can. We try to win [championships] for ourselves.

“I think this time something a bit [changed] in me – doing that not only for myself but actually for the whole country, for the hostages, obviously for the [Israeli] soldiers, for the Jewish community in general here in the United States – I’m motivated by something else, by the war, by friends that are still hostages. This is what actually wants me to push to do even better.”

Day also said in the interview with Fox News Digital that he believes anti-Israel agitators made the streets of Chicago dangerous. 

“The pro-Hamas protests on the streets, especially in the streets of Chicago, which is actually getting really dangerous. I was there for a couple of days, like a week ago, and I felt the need to check that I’m not wearing anything that can identify myself as Jewish,” he said. “I mean, this is how bad it is. Sounds like Germany in the ‘30s that I need to hide my Judaism.”

Pro-Palestine protesters on NASCAR fence

Protesters displaying a banner are observed by the American Medical Response safety team prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 165 at Chicago Street Course on July 7, 2024. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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The organizers of the protest also demanded that “President Joe Biden call for a permanent cease-fire and for the U.S. to cut all aid to Israel, including local and state governments” and condemned Pritzker’s plan to spend “over $900 million to build two new prisons in Illinois.”

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.





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