Several of the Verizon IndyCar Series teams and drivers were in action at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois on Thursday night as the series wanted feedback on the brand new surface at the oval which plays host to the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline later this month.

Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves described the new surface saying:

It’s smooth like a baby’s bottom, A great surface and a great job by the Gateway Motorsports Park. “It’s a night-and-day change. All the other drivers will feel a great relief and I think we’ll put on a great show for the fans.

Castroneves was joined at the test by several drivers including AJ Foyt Racing’s Conor Daly who described the surface as:

It feels really grippy and it’s a lot faster than when we tested here before. “I still enjoy driving here. (Turns) 1 and 2 are so different from (Turns) 3 and 4. It’s challenging but I still like it. We’re still quite fast, but it’s always going to be competitive come race weekend.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe who took part in a Facebook Live session with Daly as they traveled to Gateway Motorsports Sports for the test on Thursday afternoon.

Speaking about the new surface, Hinch commented by saying:

What a difference. “No expense was spared in bringing it up to spec for what we need to go racing, but Curtis and his group have gone above and beyond.  It’s going to make for great racing and I feel a lot more comfortable in the car.

“You’ll see good short-track racing. The straights are long enough to get good runs. It will be a short track that almost races like a speedway.

Graham Rahal who was in the No.15 Fifth Third Bank Livery for the test commented by saying:

Not a lot of people would put in the commitment to help us put in an Indy car race, so we’re really appreciative of Curtis and Chris Blair and everyone,”  “It will be the best short oval race of the year. There will be good drafting and a lot of passing in this one.

The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline takes place on August 26, for further information or to buy tickets visit –


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