August 1, 2017, St. Louis Region – Six Verizon IndyCar Series stars who drank the celebratory milk and “kissed the bricks” after winning the world’s most famous automobile race are headed to the St. Louis region this month. The half-dozen daredevils whose names now are permanently connected to The Greatest Spectacle In Racing, the Indianapolis 500, are entered in the inaugural Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline to be held August 26 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.
Brazil’s Helio Castroneves, now driving for Team Penske, has the most Indianapolis 500 wins, with three (2001, 2002 and 2009).
Japan’s Takumo Sato is the most recent winner and he toured nearby Scott Air Force Base just days before the 500. If the dedicated men and women of the United States Air Force brought him good luck in Indianapolis, perhaps a return visit to Scott AFB is in order shortly before August 26.
Young Alexander Rossi was the surprise victor in the 100th edition of the 500 in 2016. So much of a surprise, in fact, that he told the Indianapolis Star, “There was never a single point in those 3½ hours (during the race), let alone those weeks of buildup before, where I really thought I was going to win the Indy 500.”
Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay scored the big victory in 2014. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan of Salvador, Brazil earned a place for his face on the revered Borg-Warner Trophy in 2013.
New Zealand’s Scott Dixon is a four-time Indy car champion and won the 500 in 2008.
TESTING ON THE NEW PAVEMENT
Eight Verizon IndyCar Series teams will test on the new pavement at GMP from 4-9 p.m. CDT on Thursday. Each of the major Verizon IndyCar Series teams will send one car and one driver to test in preparation for this month’s INDYCAR race. The 20-year-old, 1.25-mile GMP oval was torn up after the NASCAR Drivin’ for Linemen 200 in June and was completely repaved. After paving was completed, INDYCAR driver Charlie Kimball took a ceremonial first lap on the new pavement in a street-legal Honda on July 20.
The closed test is not open to the public but fans are invited to follow the session on the drivers’ social media feeds as well as at @IndyCar and @GatewayMSP.
Teams and drivers scheduled to test at GMP on August 3:
Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, Team Penske @h3lio
Conor Daly, Chevrolet, A.J. Foyt Enterprises @connordaly22
James Hinchcliffe, Honda, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports @hinchtown
Graham Rahal, Honda Rahal Letterman, Lanigan Racing @grahamrahal
Ed Jones, Honda, Dale Coyne Racing @edjonesracing
Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, Ed Carpenter Racing @EdCarpenter20
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, Andretti Autosport @RyanHunterReay
Scott Dixon, Honda, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams @scottdixon9
The Indy Lights Series Presented By Cooper Tires will test at GMP on August 10.
The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline
In addition to America’s best drivers, the inaugural Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline also will draw competitors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Tickets for the inaugural Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline may be purchased online at www.gatewaymsp.com/indycar/ or by calling the GMP ticket office at (618) 215-8888. Tickets start at just $35. Kids 15 and under are free (general admission) with a paid adult.