IndyCar returns to Gateway with Thursday Firestone test

Newgarden (3) and Hinchcliffe (5). Photo: IndyCar

The Verizon IndyCar Series made its return to Gateway Motorsports Park on Thursday, with a number of new combinations in action among the drivers and teams testing in a Firestone test day at the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval.

Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan, Sebastien Bourdais, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Ed Carpenter made it drivers from seven teams (Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Andretti Autosport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing) all having their first crack at the track. Of that seven-pack, Kanaan is the only one with past IndyCar starts there, while Carpenter raced there in Indy Lights in 2003.

Newgarden, who made his first test with Team Penske earlier this week at Road America while in Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 2 Chevrolet, switched to Helio Castroneves’ No. 3 car on Thursday and took on another different Simon Pagenaud firesuit. He’d had a PPG one earlier in the week and on Thursday, he was in one of Pagenaud’s old yellow Penske Truck Rental suits.

Newgarden... as Castroneves? Photo: IndyCar
Newgarden… as Castroneves? Photo: IndyCar

Elsewhere, Kanaan was first among Chip Ganassi Racing’s stable of drivers to be back in action in a Honda engine and aero kit.

And Bourdais completed what was termed a “very good” first test back with Dale Coyne Racing after being formally confirmed there earlier this week, with Bourdais joined by two-thirds of the stellar engineering arsenal Coyne has assembled (Craig Hampson and Michael Cannon; Olivier Boisson joins the team later this month).

Bourdais and the Coyne crew. Photo: IndyCar
Bourdais and the Coyne crew. Photo: IndyCar

Hinchcliffe took a break from his “Dancing with the Stars” commitments to return to his No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.

“I think it’s huge for INDYCAR and also exciting for me to come to a new track,” Hinchcliffe said in a release. “We always love doing that. And especially one that has so much history with INDYCAR racing. I’ve seen old races from here at Gateway and I’ve heard a lot of stories from the old-timers who’ve raced here and it’s always exciting when we get to come back.”

Andretti, in a new hhgregg firesuit (but not new livery – yet), Rahal (base red livery on his No. 15 United Rentals/Mi-Jack Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) and Carpenter – Newgarden’s old boss – were also in action on Thursday.

For new Firestone Racing chief engineer Cara Adams, this was a chance to determine what would work as the best tire specifications for next year’s race, to be held August 26.

“Our intent in coming to Gateway today is to understand the needs of the Gateway track surface and make sure we apply the appropriate tire specifications for the upcoming race,” Adams said.

INDYCAR used the day to assess aerodynamic alterations and turbocharger boost pressures to hone in on the proper 2017 race specifications. Andretti tested the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda and stated his case for less downforce and more boost when the series returns in full force next year.

“Early on with the amount of downforce these cars have, it’s just nailed,” Marco Andretti told “We’re running flat at a place I’ve never been (before). The track seems fun. I think we need to get some raceability out of it so not everybody is just flat out. I think we need to evaluate some things to make sure we put on a good race for the fans.”

Although the track wasn’t perfect – the aging surface reportedly had some issues as the test went on – the tighter radius Turns 1 and 2 and open radius Turns 3 and 4 will present a unique challenge to competitors.

“I’m thrilled we have INDYCAR here again today,” Curtis Francois, owner and president of Gateway Motorsports Park, said in a release. “It’s a dream come true. As a fan, as a racer, as a track owner, I couldn’t ask for anything more than to see these open-wheel cars running almost 200 miles per hour around Gateway Motorsports Park.

“It is so important that the fans get a great show. With a unified INDYCAR, you’re getting the best open-wheel racing in the United States. Without a doubt, this is going to be the most exciting oval race we’ve ever had in St. Louis.”

Tickets went on sale on October 11 for the August 26 race.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s