Bommarito hosting Verizon IndyCar Series Aug. 24-25 at Gateway Motorsports Park

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THE STARTING LINEUP at the 2017 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park, which marked the return of Indycar racing to St. Louis. (Photo courtesy of GMP)

By KEVIN WEAKS

For the second year, the Bommarito Automotive Group is partnering with Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL, to sponsor the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Saturday, Aug. 25.

“We are extremely proud to be the title sponsor of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500,” said John Bommarito, president. This is the second year in a row since 2003 that IndyCar racers are hitting the 1.25-mile oval. Last year’s winner, Josef Newgarden, went on to win the 2017 IndyCar championship.

Qualifying laps for the IndyCar Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be held on Friday, Aug. 24 from 4:15 - 5:15 p.m.

“IndyCar truly is an international event,” proclaims the event’s website. In addition to America’s best drivers, the second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline also draws competitors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Tickets for the second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 may be purchased online at gatewaymsp.com or by calling the GMP ticket office at 618-215-8888. Tickets start at $35. Children 15 and under are admitted free with a paid adult general admission.

Support races include Indy Lights and the Pro Mazda Series. New this year is the addition of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West Gateway Classic 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 24.

“We have worked hard to reach this day since I purchased Gateway Motorsports Park in 2012,” Curtis Francois, owner and CEO, told the Labor Tribune regarding last year’s event. “That day is here and the Verizon IndyCar Series racing at our track now is a reality. All of the cars and stars of the Indianapolis 500 have come from around the world to showcase the best open-wheel racing in the country.  The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 marks the biggest motorsports event of any kind in the history of the St. Louis region,” Francois noted.

DRIVER JOE LEONARD'S pole-winning, record-breaking entry from the 1968 Indianapolis 500 will be on display at the Open Wheel Icons pavilion.

VINTAGE INDY CARS SHOWCASED

For many Verizon IndyCar Series fans, the Aug. 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline at Gateway Motorsports Park, will be their first look at the redesigned cars – considerably different from what they saw at the inaugural in 2017. More than 20 Indy cars – ranging from the 1930s to the 1980s – will be on display at the Open Wheel Icons pavilion.

NASCAR K&N RACE AUG. 24

The much-anticipated NASCAR K&N Pro Series race will hit the Gateway Motorsports trackon Friday, Aug. 24. Race day will include two sessions of practice, qualifying and the Gateway Classic 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

BOMMARITO 500 PRE-RACE PARTY AUG. 25

IndyCar fans age 21 and over with a race ticket can attend a unique pre-race party on Aug. 25. The Rumble Before the Roar is the ultimate pre-race party zone, featuring DJs, the Gateway Girls, special guest appearances, “bar Olympics,” T-shirt giveaways and entertainment. The party zone opens at 3 p.m. and runs until the green flag is waved for the IndyCar race. Admission is  $20 and includes a souvenir mug, complimentary beer and soft drinks and light snacks.

STAY IN A TINY HOUSE AT THE TRACK 

RACE FANS CAN ENJOY the events from their own “tiny house.” Try It Tiny Village will be constructed in the infield of Gateway Motorsports Park.

Gateway Motorsports Park will offer its IndyCar fans the most unique lodging opportunity in all of motorsports: Instead of staying at a motel or camping out, fans will be able to live in a house – albeit a tiny one – in the infield of the oval track. Twenty units will be available. Two units will sleep two and 18 units will sleep up to four people. The two-person units will start at $1,500 each and the four-person units will range from $1,750 to $2,250. To reserve a tiny house visit: tryittiny.com/gateway.

DR. ZHIVEGAS TO ENTERTAIN BEFORE, AFTER TH ERACE

One of St. Louis’s most popular cover bands for more than 20 years, Dr. Zhivegas will entertain race fans before and after the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. They will perform in front of the main grandstands during the pre-race show at approximately 6 p.m. and again after the checkered flag falls on the main race.

ABOUT GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK 

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of IndyCar, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a quarter-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

GETTING THERE 

From downtown St. Louis:

• Take I-70/I-64 east and merge onto I-55 north/I-70 east

• Take the IL 203 north exit to the first stoplight at Ohio and turn left into the track.

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From south St. Louis:

• Take I-55 north or I-44 east

• Take I-55 north/I-64 north I-70 east U.S. 40 exit toward Illinois and merge onto I-55 north/I-70 east

• Take the IL 203 north exit to the first stoplight at Ohio and turn left into the track.

From southern Illinois:

• Take I-64 west to I-55 north then the IL 203 north exit to the first stoplight at Ohio and turn Left into the track

Event parking is $20 (cash only) per car.

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Gateway Motorsports event schedule

• Wednesday, Aug. 22 – Karting for Kids to benefit Children’s Variety. Gateway Kartplex at Gateway Motorsports Park from noon to 5 p.m.

• Thursday, Aug. 23 – IndyCar Fanfest at Ballpark Village. Meet your favorite IndyCar drivers before the 500 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Friday, Aug. 24 — Coors Light Pole Night Showdown with Gateway Classic 150, presented By The West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame for the NASCAR K&N East and West Series. Includes practice and qualifying for the Verizon IndyCar Series, Indy Lights and Pro Mazda Series.

• Saturday, Aug. 25 – Second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline Verizon IndyCar Series race. Support races include the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Series.

For more information visit gatewaymsp.com.

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