Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball became the first Verizon IndyCar Series driver to experience the freshly repaved surface at Gateway Motorsports Park on Thursday.

The driver of the No.83 Tresiba® Honda brought local media members around the circuit which will play host to the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline  which takes place from August 25-26.

Kimball headed to Madison Illinois, for the event fresh from a 12th place finish at the Honda Indy Toronto last weekend.

Speaking about the new surface at Gateway Motorsports Park, the Californian commented by saying:

I think it’s awesome. “The investment made to repave and update the surface is significant. The fact that we’re coming back in August to a much smoother racetrack than we tested on (in early May) is going to create a lot better racing for Verizon IndyCar Series cars under the lights.

Gateway Motorsports Park played host to the Verizon IndyCar Series from 1997 to 2003, with Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves the most recent winner here aiming for a repeat victory.

Kimball, whose next race in the Verizon IndyCar Series is next weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course went on to say:

To be able to compete under the lights in August on a Saturday night on a short track like Gateway is going to be fantastic. “I think the way Turn 1 and Turn 3 are so very different is going to lead to an incredible event and the new asphalt will only add to that.

Kimball along with the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series teams and drivers will return to Gateway Motorsports Park on August 3 to conduct an official Verizon IndyCar Series test there prior to the race itself.

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