MADISON, IL - The roar of IndyCars on the track at Gateway Motorsports Park signals we’re one step closer to the Bommarito Automotive Group 500, as race teams tested Gateway’s newly repaved track last week.
“We need to be able to put on a good race and the new paving is definitely going to do that,” said IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball.
“I think Gateway is going to be ideal for the package we have here, so it’ll be lot of fun,” said IndyCar driver Graham Rahal.
“I’m biased because the last time I was there, I won,” said IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves.
“Our guys did some testing there and it was amazing,” said racing legend Roger Penske.
How’s that for pavement approval? But a new race on a new surface presents new challenges.
“It’s kind of a unique race track where it’s almost two drag strips with some really fast corners at the end. That makes it very competitive,” said Chip Ganassi, mechanic for Ricky Davis.
The finish line on this multi-million dollar project seemed a million miles away when Gateway’s repave started in mid-June.
“We thought long and hard about the timing of repaving the race track,” said Gateway Motorsports Park owner Curtis Francois.
Track trouble with the old surface during testing in May, which drove Francois to greenlight the project.
“We really had a lot of cooperation from the sanctioning bodies, and overall the consensus was let’s do this, so we decided to move forward," Francois said.
Now paved and primed for what could be the best short oval race of the year, organizers are focused on the future of fast at Gateway.
“We’re laying that foundation so we can build this event over many years,” said Francois.
“it’s a true honor to get this race. They don’t just divvy up races to anybody,” added Bommarito Automotive Group President John Bommarito.
“You’re in for a heck of a show. Don’t make the mistake of not coming," said IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter.