Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race Preview

“I really love short ovals, so the addition of Gateway on the INDYCAR schedule was really good news. I’ve been looking forward to racing the DHL Honda there for quite some time. Gateway did an excellent job on the repave. I’m eager to see how the racing will be.”

Fast Facts

Track: Gateway Motorsports Park, a 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois

Race distance: 248 laps / 310 miles

Firestone tire allotment: Ten sets for use throughout the weekend

Twitter: @GatewayMSP @IndyCar, #Bommarito500, #IndyCar

Event website: www.gatewaymsp.com/

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

Most recent race winner (2003): Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota)

Most recent pole winner (2003): Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota), 25.5732 seconds, 175.965 mph (one lap)

One-lap qualifying record: Raul Boesel, 24.324 seconds, 187.963 mph, May 23, 1997

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 26 (tape delayed); Race, 9 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 26 (live); Kevin Lee is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Anders Krohn and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query is the turn announcer with Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: Practice and qualifying for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, Aug. 25
4 – 5 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
6:30 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/cumulative time of two laps), RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)/NBCSN (Taped, 7:30 p.m. ET Aug. 26)
9 – 10 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

Saturday, Aug. 26
7:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop competition
8:01 p.m. – Driver introductions
8:40 p.m. – Command to start engines
8:45 p.m. – ABC Supply 500 (248 laps/310 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Championship facts:

  • Josef Newgarden leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with three races to go for the first time in his career. Newgarden took the championship lead for the first time in his career following his win at Mid-Ohio on July 30.
  • Josef Newgarden leads Scott Dixon by 18 points with Helio Castroneves (-22) and Simon Pagenaud (-26) just behind. Will Power is fifth, 42 points behind Newgarden. With 54 maximum points available at Gateway, the points lead could change for the fifth time in 2017.
  • There are 15 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi, Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe, Max Chilton, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Ed Jones and JR Hildebrand. Any driver who trails the points leader by 159 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.
  • Since the first Indy car race at Gateway Motorsports Park in 1997, only Alex Zanardi (1998) won the Gateway race and the championship in the same season.

Key championship point statistic: The driver who has led the championship with three races to go has failed to win the championship in five of the last seven seasons. Will Power in 2014 and Simon Pagenaud in 2016 are the exceptions.

Point differential: The 18 points which separate Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon is the third smallest margin with three races to go since 2010. Will Power led Helio Castroneves by four points in 2014 and Ryan Hunter-Reay by five points in 2012. The average deficit with three races to go since 2010 is 22.6 points.

Championship-eligible drivers results at Gateway: Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan are the only drivers to have raced Indy cars previously at Gateway Motorsports Park and all have led laps there…Castroneves won at the track in 2003 and has never finished outside the top 10 in five starts…Kanaan finished second in 2003.

Race notes:

  • There have been nine different winners in the 14 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park, Streets of Toronto and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix, Texas Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway), Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500), Graham Rahal (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Raceway at Belle Isle-2), Scott Dixon (Road America) and Helio Castroneves (Iowa Speedway). Bourdais’ win at St. Pete on March 12 gave him sole possession of sixth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36 wins. Dixon’s win at Road America on June 25 was his 41st career victory and he will tie Michael Andretti for third all time with his next win. Castroneves’ win at Iowa on July 9 ended a 54-race winless streak and gave him sole possession of 12th all time with 30 wins. Power’s win at Pocono on Aug. 20 gave him sole possession of ninth on the all-time list with 32 wins.
  • The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline will be the eighth Indy car race at Gateway Motorsports Park. Helio Castroneves won the last race at the track in 2003. Paul Tracy won the first Indy car race at Gateway in 1997. Castroneves is the only former winner entered in this year’s race.
  • Three drivers have won the Gateway race from the pole – Juan Pablo Montoya (2000), Gil de Ferran (2002) and Helio Castroneves (2003).
  • Team Penske has won three times at Gateway Motorsports Park. Penske’s winning drivers are: Paul Tracy (1997), Gil de Ferran (2002) and Helio Castroneves (2003). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins at Gateway with Alex Zanardi in 1998 and Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.
  • Only three drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Pocono. Helio Castroneves has five starts, most among the entered drivers. Three entered drivers have led laps at the track (Castroneves 219, Scott Dixon 71 and Tony Kanaan 21).
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 280th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 221 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti has made 197 consecutive starts, which is the fourth-longest streak in Indy car racing.
  • Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 342nd career Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan is fourth all-time with 340 starts.

One Response to “Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race Preview”

  1. Simon Hayes August 25, 2017 at 6:26 am # Reply

    Go RHR mate

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