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Gateway Motorsports owner thrilled with impact of Bommarito 500

MADISON, Ill. – The second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 was another success. Organizers are taking a breath while looking ahead to next year.

Gateway Motorsports owner and president Curtis Francois said between 25,000 and 30,000 people showed up for the event.

“It should stack up well again as one of the largest oval events—other than the Indy500—in the country,” Francois said. “Here we are in little St. Louis, doing our thing, hitting it out of the park.”

Just five miles away, the Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt country concert was going. Busch Stadium was packed, Gateway Motorsports Parkway was packed, and that was a big win for the St. Louis area.

“We held our own, we had another great crowd and so much energy here. Great night for St. Louis to have so much activity.”

Despite getting four inches of rain in the 24-hour period before the race and added heat warnings, the weather didn’t deter race fans. Gateway Motorsports rolled with the punches and Francois said fans couldn’t have been happier.

“The fan experience has been overwhelmingly positive and those are the great emails to get,” he said.

Gateway Motorsports and the Bommarito Automotive Group have a five-year deal with IndyCar. Despite the guaranteed deal, Francois said he wants to get better.

“Where we can improve, what we did well, what we can do better, we're making sure we're looking at all of that,” he said.

The race is said to bring to the region an estimated economic boost of around $40 million each year.

“To hear people happy to be in St. Louis, enjoying St. Louis and taking advantage of the other things, that is exactly what we're after,” Francois said.