Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 IndyCar race at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis:
Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, Aug. 24 – Saturday, Aug. 25
Track: Gateway Motorsports Park, a 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois
Race distance: 248 laps / 310 miles
Entry List: Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline (PDF)
Firestone tire allotment: Eleven sets for use throughout the weekend
Twitter: @GatewayMSP @IndyCar, #Bommarito500, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.gatewaymsp.com/
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2017 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet)
2017 pole winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 47.4579 seconds, 189.642 mph (two laps)
One-lap qualifying record: Will Power, 23.7206 seconds, 189.709 mph, Aug. 25, 2017
Two-lap qualifying record: Will Power, 47.4579 seconds, 189.642 mph, Aug. 25, 2017
NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 5 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 24 (live); Race, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 25 (live); Kevin Lee is the lead announcer for the NBCSN telecasts 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 Kyle Kaiser. Jake Query is the turn announcer with Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young reporting from the pits. The Verizon IndyCar Series race is broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 121, 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, with qualifying also available on Sirius 216 and XM 209.
Video streaming: Practice sessions for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, Aug. 24
12:15 – 1:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)
4:15 – 5:15 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (live)
8 – 9 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)
Saturday, Aug. 25
6:56 p.m. – Driver introductions
7:35 p.m. – Command to start engines
7:40 p.m. – Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline (248 laps/310 miles), NBCSN (live)
- Scott Dixon leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with three races to go for the second time in his career. He also led the championship with three to go when he won the title in 2008. Dixon has held the championship lead since his win at Texas Motor Speedway in June.
- Scott Dixon leads Alexander Rossi by 29 points with defending series champion Josef Newgarden (-66) in third and Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power (-81) in fourth.
- There are 10 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Robert Wickens, Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais. 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) and Josef Newgarden (2017) have won the Gateway race and the championship in the same season.
Key championship point statistic: Since 2010, the driver who has led the championship with three races to go has won the championship four times – Dario Franchitti in 2011, Will Power in 2014, Simon Pagenaud in 2016 and Josef Newgarden in 2017.
Point differential: The 29 points which separate Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi is the fourth-largest 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 is the only championship-eligible driver to have raced Indy cars at Gateway Motorsports Park more than once. Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais all raced there for the first time last year…Newgarden won at the track in 2017 followed by Dixon and Pagenaud.
- There have been seven different winners in the 14 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Pocono Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1, Texas Motor Speedway and Streets of Toronto), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and James Hinchcliffe (Iowa Speedway). Dixon’s win at Toronto on July 15 was his 44th career win, which ranks third on the all-time Indy car victory list.
- The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline will be the ninth Indy car race at Gateway Motorsports Park. Josef Newgarden won in 2017, the first Indy car race at the track since 2003. Paul Tracy won the first Indy car race at Gateway in 1997. Newgarden is the only former winner entered in this year’s race.
- Three drivers have won at Gateway Motorsports Park from the pole – Juan Pablo Montoya (2000), Gil de Ferran (2002) and Helio Castroneves (2003).
- Team Penske has won four times at Gateway Motorsports Park. Penske’s winning drivers are Paul Tracy (1997), Gil de Ferran (2002), Helio Castroneves (2003) and Josef Newgarden (2017). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins at Gateway with Alex Zanardi (1998) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2000).
- Sixteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Gateway Motorsports Park. Tony Kanaan has five starts, most among the entered drivers. Seven entered drivers have led laps at the track (Josef Newgarden 170, Scott Dixon 78, Kanaan 21, Simon Pagenaud 13, Sebastien Bourdais 5, Will Power 5 and Max Chilton 3).
- Three rookies – Pietro Fittipaldi, Matheus Leist and Zach Veach – are expected to compete. None of the rookies nor veteran drivers Gabby Chaves and Spencer Pigot has made an Indy car start at Gateway Motorsports Park.
- Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 298th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 238 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 214 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.