Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon goes into this weekend’s Bommarito Automotive Group as one of only three current Verizon IndyCar Series drivers to have raced at Gateway the last time the event was on the schedule in 2003.
Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan are the other drivers who have raced here. The Iceman in the No.9 NTT DATA Honda finished the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway last weekend in sixth place and although he moved up a place in the championship to second, he is now 18 points behind points leader Josef Newgarden.
Dixon is second on the all time list of consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series starts with this weekend’s race set to be the New Zealander’s 222nd start.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, Dixon commented by saying:
2003 seems like such a long time ago when we last ran at Gateway. I love oval racing and am excited the series is expanding and the track is investing back into the sport. The track was repaved recently so there will definitely be a learning curve for the race this weekend. With a two-day weekend format, you’ll really need to maximize practice time and get all the data you can for the race. I’m looking forward to going back to a great market and a Saturday night race.
Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda heads into this weekend’s race having led last time out in Pocono having traded the lead with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal an incredible 17 times.
The Brazilian finished the race in fifth place and is hoping to continue that momentum this weekend as he makes his 280th consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series start.
Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Kanaan commented by saying:
I love that INDYCAR is going back to Gateway after such a long hiatus. The last time we ran there in 2003, I came so close to getting a win, but just didn’t have enough to get past Helio (Castroneves) and had to settle for a runner-up finish. From what I’ve heard, the repave has made all the difference after our first test on the oval in May, so I can’t wait to get out there and see for myself. It sounds like the St. Louis INDYCAR fans are really embracing this race, so hopefully we can give them a great show under the lights Saturday night.
Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Honda is looking forward to seeing what the new surface is like. Speaking ahead of the race, Chilton commented by saying:
Having only completed a short test (in May) due to the surface issues, I am really looking forward to seeing what the track and its new silky surface has to offer for us. I feel like we have unfinished business after an unfortunate weekend in Pocono, so I’m happy we have only six days between the two races.
Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Treisba® Honda recently drove the Bommarito 500 pace car on the new surface at Gateway Motorsports Park and is excited to get on track at Gateway Motorsports Park this weekend.
Speaking ahead of the event this weekend he commented by saying:
I’m excited to get to Gateway Motorsports Park this weekend for some short-track racing. I had the opportunity to take a few laps on the new asphalt during a media event last month, and while I was driving a Honda pace car instead of my No. 83 Tresiba Honda, I got a good sense that it’s so much smoother and will create some great racing under the lights on Saturday night. The pavement investment by the track and all of the excitement surrounding this new event on our schedule helps bring some momentum as we head toward the season finale. There will definitely be quite a few unknowns and challenges for the teams, with limited testing and Turns 1 and 3 being so different.